Once again, it’s time for the Charlottesville Toy Lift. And once again (thanks to my wife being on the Board for the Toy Lift) it’s time to volunteer.
What is the Toy Lift?
The Kids Lift Foundation believes every child is entitled to a happy and enriched childhood. Our mission is to support local families through volunteerism, community cooperation, morale building, and educational tools. We seek to provide that support through Toy Lift, Books Lift Kids, and Kids and Cops Holiday Shop.
The purposes and objectives of the Foundation are to:
- Provide toys and books to area children ages newborn through 8th grade
- Seek charitable contributions of money, toys, books and other needed items
- Seek volunteer assistance from the community
- Not interfere with any governmental or community agencies already assisting area children
The Foundation’s service area includes the City of Charlottesville and the Counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Nelson, and Orange.
Why should I support Toy Lift and what makes Kids Lift Foundation different? Toy Lift is entirely volunteer run. There is not one paid employee as part of the Kids Lift Foundation. We start with a volunteer board of nine people that work all year. We add another 10 volunteers who serve as advisors from July through Toy Lift. Then we host hundreds of volunteers from the community during the event itself.
All our toys stay local. The families we serve come from Albemarle, Buckingham, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, Nelson, and Orange. The toys we collect from the Toy Lift event go directly back to those families. None of our toys are sent to Richmond, Lynchburg or other locations. We do allow other local charities to take advantage of the toys we have left after we have taken care of the families on our list.
Our selection criterion allows us to identify families that might otherwise be missed. We do not use the financial documentation that other organizations do. Instead we require all our families to be sponsored by a school. We rely on the recommendation of a school counselor or social worker that a family is in need of support. This allows us to identify those families that may not already be part of â€œthe system,â€ but may be experiencing circumstances that make this year particularly difficult.
For example, a family that has had a parental death this year and mom couldn’t even imagine trying to pull together Christmas might not meet any financial criteria, but the school personnel that know this family can identify them for us. They can also help us find those families who may have a very recent job loss, an accident or crisis such as a fire, or a sudden family burden.