Winter Wonderland

For more than 10 years, the Kyrene School District has hosted "Winter Wonderland," the invitation-only event that collects and hands out toys for families in need.

Submitted photo

Nearly 1,000 underprivileged students are expected to benefit from Kyrene School District’s “Winter Wonderland” event next week.

For more than 10 years, the district has hosted the invitation-only event that collects and hands out toys for families in need.

About 200 to 300 volunteers work the one-day event and begin collecting toys from around the community right after Thanksgiving.

“We live in a very generous and amazing community,” said district prevention manager Amanda Hamm. “We’re able to meet our needs internally really well.”

Hamm said out of the 18,000 students within the district, 400 are actually homeless, and one in three are living in poverty.

“What’s greater than that though is the number of families struggling,” Hamm added.

During the event, parents invited will get the chance to win a free bike or a $25 Fry’s gift card as they are taken around the “Wonderland” with a personal shopper.

Refreshments, hot chocolate, and baked goods are also provided.

Parents then browse through the different gifts, have their choices gift wrapped, and can leave with the wrapped gifts in black trash bags — so their kids can be surprised.

Last year, 832 students within the district were given gifts by the “Winter Wonderland” event.

The district office will be accepting toy donations until Dec. 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Kyrene School District is located at 8700 S. Kyrene Road.

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

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.

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