St. John residents start toy drive for local children

A Christmas Tree poking out of a mound of brightly wrapped toys in the norm for many youngsters on Christmas morning, but not so for all young children.
Hannah Sallee and  Rachel Fisher are taking it upon themselves to make sure a barren Christmas tree is not the reality for any of the children in Stafford County this year.
“I just can’t imagine not being able to have that awesome Christmas moment,” Salle said. “We thought this was something there was a need for, and something we could help with.”
Sallee and Davis started Stocking Stuffers of Central Kansas to collect toys and cash donations to purchase toys.
“We plan on collecting toys and money to buy toys up until a few days before Christmas so we can distribute them to the parents earlier enough that they can give the presents to their children themselves,” said Sallee.
“We know our toys,” she added. Between the two Sallee and Davis have four children under the age of four.
Originally the pair considered working with Toys
for Tots, but found out while the organization collects toys in Stafford County it does not distribute toys in the county. Sallee stated one of them would have had to attend a training seminar to work with the national organization so they just took it upon themselves.
A soup supper and raffle fundraiser will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Dec. 8 at the IOOF Lodge, St. John. A 32” flat screen television and Kindle reader are some of the items that will be raffled off. The diner will be catered by Wheatland Café. You do not need to be present to win the raffle items.
Sallee and Fisher are currently funding the cost of the raffle items out of their own pocket.
“This was definitely her idea,” Fisher said. “I am 100 percent happy to help. I’m just excited to be a part of it, and be able to help. I know when you’re a kid how excited you get having something to open on Christmas morning.”
Parents that would like to receive toys for their children can sign up for the program at the Stafford County Health Department. Forms can be returned to the health department or the St. John elementary school office.
“We are completely confidential so people shouldn’t worry about that,” Sallee said.
Cash donations for toys can be mailed to PO Box 14, St. John, KS, 67576. To drop off toys or for more information contact Hannah Sallee at 620-786-0370.