Kyrene seeks community donations for the holidays - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Kyrene seeks community donations for the holidays

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Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013 8:11 pm

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the Kyrene School District is trying to spread the holiday cheer by asking community members for toy donations for its Winter Wonderland toy drive.

The Winter Wonderland is an event furthering the aid towards families of the Kyrene School District who are dealing with economic struggles during the holidays.

Some of the toy donations consist of different items such as LEGOS, basketballs, hair accessories for young girls, Hot Wheels, and more.

Many of the items being asked for are those that are appealing to teenagers.

According to the Winter Wonderland press release, due to the high volume of donations during last year’s event, the Kyrene community was able to successfully distribute 1,600 gifts to families in need.

This year, the Kyrene Foundation will be looking to continue the success of serving their families in need by collecting enough donations to serve approximately 1,000 children, which 2,000 toys will be needed to serve that goal.

Amanda Hamm, school district prevention manager, said they invite parents who they specifically know are in need and the families are able to shop for Christmas gifts.

Parents who attend the invite-only Winter Wonderland walk through the district’s governing board room, 8700 S. Kyrene Road, partnered with a personal shopper assisting them with their needs.

“The board room is set up like a toy store. They are matched with a personal shopper that helps them make their way through the board room and makes the shoppers feel comfortable,” Hamm said.

Fry’s gift cards are also distributed to families who attend Winter Wonderland.

Once the toys are picked out, they are taken upstairs to be wrapped by volunteers and put under the family’s Christmas tree.

“It’s really special to work with the community to provide that, and the kids get so excited about the toys,” Hamm said. “That’s the most amazing piece, and I know that the event has been successful when my volunteers are crying.”

While their gifts are being wrapped, parents are invited to mingle inside the employee’s lounge where they can enjoy hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.

More than 200 volunteers assist with the event and get all the gifts wrapped for the families.

Donations for the Winter Wonderland can be dropped off at the Kyrene School District Office, 8700 S. Kyrene Road, on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 11-12, anytime between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

For more information, or how to become a volunteer, email

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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