Here is the final Toys for Tots post for 2015! This might not look like a ton of toys but that's in part to my amazing placement skills. This year was the biggest year yet in terms of funds collected and toys purchased!
This year makes the 7th year in a row that I've done the TFT Fundraiser. I LOVE doing this each year and am so happy I took the chance to see what would happen that first year back in 2009. It's a lot of work but it's so worth it and I couldn't do it on such a large scale without so many awesome people supporting me through paypal, cash and toy donations. This year I was also able to round up some awesome prizes to give away to all the awesome people that donated something which made me even more happy. I appreciate you all so much. I really wouldn't be able to buy this many toys without all of you helping out.
This years totals:
That averages out to about $5 per toy. I'm so serious every year when I say it only takes $5 to make a difference and help.
A few people have asked how the shopping part works and also about the items I buy so I'm going to explain a little bit. Skip this next two paragraphs if you're not interested in reading that. ;)
I plan it out so I can take advantage of sales and coupons so I can really maximize the amount of toys I get with the money raised. I actually do a lot of planning with this so I can stretch every dollar. Each shopping trip also takes me at least 90 minutes to get through so I can carefully look through everything and take advantage of any coupons, sales or deals I have available to me. This year, I waited until Target was doing a buy one get one 50% off sale that included brands like Barbie, Marvel and Disney.
Another question a good number of people have asked about is why I include makeup, nail polish kits and items that look geared towards "older kids." That's because most TFT campaign sites are able to assist children up to the age of 12 and nail polish, make up, craft kits, model car kits and board games are things they request but tend to not get a lot of. Also, several local communities (mine included) offer extended support for ages 13-16. Most people tend to focus on younger children and the 10+ age range ends up being the group they need more things for because they don't get much donated for that age range. They do use their cash and online donations to help fill in the gaps wherever the needs are as well but I like to include a variety of everything.
If you want to see final results of the fundraiser from years passed, you can check all of those out here:
The final results from 2009: Here
The final results from 2010: Here
The final results from 2011: Here
The final results from 2012: Here
The final results from 2013: Here
The final results from 2014: Here
Ready for some 2015 pictures? Of course if we're Facebook friends, you may have already seen these since I uploaded them there the day I delivered the toys. I've been so busy with work (because bakery jobs in December are HELL) that I haven't had time to get this up here yet. I've been doing it a little at a time as I've had the free time.
If you want to see the full album then just *click here* to take a look at the Toys for Tots 2015 Flickr album to view the rest of them. I think there are 60 photos total.
As for the prize giveaway, most of the prizes were mailed out last week (or given out for the people I know IRL that won stuff) although there are still a few I need to get sent out (I promise, soon!) to people.
I want to say thank you (again) to those of you that donated this year. Whether it was the first year you donated or the third or the seventh, thank you so much! Whether it was $5, $10, $25, $50 or more; it doesn't matter. I appreciate it and I know the families that benefit from Toys for Tots doing what they do appreciate it, too. I have so much fun being able to do this. I've donated to Toys for Tots since I was a little kid and my mom let us each buy a couple toys of our choosing to give to them and kept doing so for as long as I can remember. So blame her for getting me started into this one. ;) Doing it on such a large scale the last 7 years has been so awesome. I couldn't do it without all of your help so thank you. I also want to say thank you to everyone who posted on their blogs, tweeted links, pestered people on Facebook and otherwise
Until next time!