LA JARA — Teaching for more than 50 years, Susan Robins saw the need for children to have toys at Christmas time, so she has spent her retirement making sure the need is met.
Four years ago, she started “The Gift of Giving” in Conejos County and the project has blossomed. Last year, Robins said, 740 toys were distributed and the generosity of donors has made even more possible.
Every child in the county through grade two will receive a toy, and then needy children in grade three to age 17 are recommended by counselors, schools and other organizations.
Business owners in Conejos County and persons who have businesses in the county have been approached and their response, along with that of county residents, yielded more than $3,000 to purchase toys. This, along with donations in boxes around the county, ensures children aged birth to 17 will have toys and fun things.
Gift of Giving also works with Toys for Tots and, this year, Dell’s Insurance brought in some donated toys, Robins said.
One person in each of the county’s communities worked as a representative and sits on the board of directors, she added.
With all those gifts, someone had to wrap them and Robins said the high school National Honor Society added that task to members’ community service.
They have been working in shifts, some coming in to the preparation area in the La Jara Knights of Columbus hall from 4 to 6 p.m. and others from 6 to 8.
Robins said donations are always needed as the effort goes from year to year.