Post Office hosts annual 1001 Smiles Toy Drive

You may have noticed the construction paper cutouts at the post office advertising for 1001 Smiles Toy Drive. The goal of the drive is to collect gifts to give to local kids of families that cannot necessarily afford to buy presents on their own. Student Post Office Supervisor Al LaPan is the leader of the fundraiser, and says that in past years “clubs, offices, and individuals have donated abundantly to ensure that area children do not wake up on Christmas morning only to face an empty tree.”
President Barack Obama recognized the College in 2009 for its dedication to the community during this fundraiser. The recognition speaks volumes about the impact that the fundraiser has made over the past 20 years.
Students can drop presents off at the Post Office in Pulver Pavilion. The toy drive collects items for toddlers to teenagers. Donators can also give money so that those who work for 1001 Smiles Toy Drive can go out and purchase gifts and toys. “Santa loves to shop,” LaPan said.
A major mode of fundraising for the drive is through donations of gently used books that are, in turn, sold to raise money for new toys. Book sale proceeds are a large portion of the funding for the 1001 Smiles Toy Drive. The money used to buy presents comes from both student and community donations.
“Nothing can equal the feeling that occurs when a child has to wake up to an empty tree,” LaPan said. The 1001 Smiles Toy Drive hopes to ensure that no child will go without a gift this holiday season.
“It costs so little money to bring a smile to a child’s face, thus the name of the drive, 1001 Smiles Toy Drive,” LaPan said.
LaPan asks that donors bring unwrapped items or monetary donations to the post office in Cotter Union. Donations are accepted Monday through Friday during post office hours, which are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1001 Smiles accepts used toys in good condition in addition to new toys and monetary donations.
The drive hopes to give back to the Waterville community one smile at a time.

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