Toy drive provides gifts to kids with nothing to call their own

Toy drive provides gifts to kids with nothing to call their own

AMARILLO, TX - Amarillo Area CASA will be able to provide its kids with gifts this Christmas.

Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, pairs volunteers with foster children who have been abused or neglected.

No longer with their families, many kids will not receive Christmas presents.

CASA is changing that with a toy drive.

"We were approached by Fun 99.7, and they really wanted to do something for the kids that are in foster care," said CASA Executive Director Lara Escobar. "The DJ had previously done this in a different state and it worked very well."

All week long Amarillo residents have have donated new toys at the toy drive in the parking lot of Westgate Mall.

CASA and Fun 99.7 are trying to "Stuff the Bus," or rather an RV, full of toys.

So full that when the toys are brought to the CASA office on Saturday that they just spill out of the RV.

"The holidays are a really difficult time for kids in foster care," said Escobar. "They're missing their family. They might be moved to a different city so they're missing their home town. They're missing their traditions. We want to be able to provide them with good, new toys so they can have a little bit of that comfort at the holiday season."

But there's one group who often gets overlooked when it comes to gift donations.

"What we really need is donations for teenagers," said CASA volunteer Sharon Baker. "A lot of us are bringing little kid's toys because they're easy to find, but we need to think about the 12-17-year-olds."

Many of the teens in the program are moved to residential treatment centers in bigger cities like Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

"They don't have anybody, a family type setting that's sitting there unwrapping presents with them," said Escobar. "So when we can send them a big package of gifts it's just so awesome for them, they love it."

On Saturday volunteers will we able to pick out gifts for the kids they work with.

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