Kathy Snider has been helping give children in the Duncan community a happier Christmas as the co-chairman of the Toy Shop of Duncan since 1996.
“Christmas is very special to me and I want that special feeling of Christmas to be there for the children in our community,” Snider said in Arvest Bank’s most recent video in their People Helping People series.
The Toy Shop of Duncan was established in the 80s transforming into what it is today by the 90s. Each year, the organization provides Christmas toys and clothes to about 1,200 children in Duncan, thanks to volunteers, fundraisers, and donations from the community.
“I couldn’t do it myself,” Snider said in the video. “They come from all walks of life. Some of them have been volunteering longer that I’ve been here volunteering.
The process begins on Jan. 1 with volunteers going toy sale shopping for the following Christmas season.
“I start Jan. 1. That’s when things are half priced and when you’re buying things for 1,200 children you have to get a lot of it on sale,” Toy Shop volunteer and fellow co-chair Connie Roebuck said.
There are also plenty of fundraisers throughout the year as well to ensure the needs of every child in the community can be met.
This year, registration for children to receive gifts from the Toy Shop began in November and lasted until Dec. 13 with volunteers sitting down one on one with parents during the registration process to learn more about the child they would be providing gifts to.
Volunteers collect all of the information they need such as the name and age of the child as well as things the child is interested in. The Toy Shop of Duncan differs from similar organizations in the fact that if they take your paperwork your child will have something for Christmas.
On Dec. 15, the toys are delivered to the families by Santa’s elves.
“Your heart just goes thumping and you get goosebumps and tear up, you know?” Roebuck said.
Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series aims to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are making a difference. You can find the video on Kathy Snider and the Toy Shop on Arvest’s various social media channels.
“I think that’s what community is about,” Snider said. “It’s people that just come together and share and love each other, and are willing to do for others.”