Here is me getting my toy shopping on for the first day....
That was Day 1 of the shopping. I got over $200 worth of toys that day. =o)
Now on to Day 2. I took less pictures in Target because honestly, it was busy as hell and loud as fuck in there and I was concentrating more on getting around all the parents, screaming kids running around and trying to concentrate on not going over the spending amount.
That might not look like much but there are more toys in there than there were from the Wal-Mart shopping trip. I also spent over $200 in Target as well.
The Wal-Mart bags & Target bags. Plus, a Toys R Us bag filled with stuffed animals.
We took all these bags and loaded them into the backseat of the car. The backseat was full, the floorboards were full. It was getting dark so I didn't get a fantastic picture of the full backseat but you get the idea I hope. =o)
Then we were off.
It took a while to get there. One, I don't live in the city we were going to. Two, the person I first talked to on the phone gave us the wrong directions and we went in the opposite direction but luckily figured out our mistake, called again, got someone who gave really good directions and the right address and made our way back to where we needed to be. Finally, we were there....
They put all the bags into cardboard boxes. For those who don't know, they inspect the toys before wrapping them, boxing them up and shipping them to where they're going to be handed out. I couldn't get more pictures or video because my cell phone battery was close to dying and it wouldn't cooperate with me.
The Toys for Tots people where quite happy to see we brought in so many toys and we were thanked by several different people. We had so many they thought we had come from a business or some organization. I said I wrote a blog and had taken up a collection online to help raise money to buy toys. The guy helping put the bags in the box said that was awesome and thanked us again. Then we watched as they pushed the heavy box across the floor and then left.
This started as a fundraiser I was doing in the blogging community. It poured over into my real life though because after going two days in a row with no donations from any bloggers, I worried that there was no way I was going to reach the goal I wanted to reach. My goal was $300. I reached $300 with the help of bloggers and people in my real life. Then a few more bloggers donated more and several more people in my real life donated more. The grand total was $533. For those who wanted to know how much of that was blogger raised vs real life people I know raised... just say it was damn near even between the two groups in my life and leave it at that. I don't personally think it matters which spectrum donated more and I've tried to politely say as much to all who have asked so far. I'm sorry if you find that rude but it doesn't really matter who donated more. What matters is every single dollar that was donated to Toys for Tots to help get a toy to a child who otherwise wouldn't anything. Those bags had a total of 83 toys in them.
The shopping was a bit more difficult then I thought it would be actually. I tried to get a decent equal amount of boy toys and girl toys in all the age appropriate categories. Without spending more than $10 on a single toy. I was thrifty and tried to get the most out of the money that was raised. ;) I planned out my shopping based on what sales were going on where and it worked out fantastic for the cause I think.
Again, THANK Y'ALL SO SO SO SO much to every single person who donated anything at all to the Fundraiser. Thank you to every person who tried to help spread the word, retweeted links, made posts on their blogs, etc. I appreciate it so very much. I plan on doing this again next year so hopefully y'all will join me again.
If you weren't able to donate for Toys for Tots & still want to help, you can always donate to the Toy Drop put on by the Genesis Women's Shelter (click the link to read more about GWS) if you're able to. I clearly don't expect the success that Toys for Tots got but every little bit helps! Last day to donate for that will be the 19th or 20th at the latest. Thanks y'all!