RICHMOND, Va. -- Lynette Seay said an expected delivery of toys for her nonprofit’s December toy drive didn’t materialize this year.
“This year our biggest retail partner did not provide toys in our shipment, so we are super low on toys which is why we came to you all to ask the community to come through and help donate to these kids that are in need,” Seay said.
Seay serves as president and founder of PATCH Virginia, which stands for Parity in Action Through Community Helpers.
Seay started her organization when saw the great need to assist families during the pandemic. Now her nonprofit fills in the gaps when parents miss the early sign-up deadlines for other toy drives, like the Salvation Army. She has provided a Christmas for as many as 150 to 300 kids throughout the last three years.
Seay has partnered with another nonprofit, Heart of Zion, to reach as many families as they can this year.
They’re asking for gently used or brand-new toys to give away at a toy distribution on December 19 at Diversity Thrift.
“I wish our kids had something as simple as a bike or scooter to go outside and play. Books to read, games to play, things they can do with their friends or if they don’t have siblings they can do alone,” Heart of Zion president Jecinta Gault said.
Gault founded her nonprofit hoping to help other single parents.
“I remember being on active duty [in the Air Force] and I was having hard times as a single mom with a son,” she said.
She then visited social services and local churches for help, but they wanted to see her pay stubs.
“When I provided that they said I made too much. I realized on paper, I do, but when you calculate all of my bills I don’t,” Gault said. “I realized I had to do something to help other moms who make good money on paper but didn’t bring in enough.”
They acknowledge that other emergencies can come up unexpectedly during the holidays, like a fire or death in the family. Donations must be in by December 14 and can be made at various businesses in the Greater Richmond and Tri-Cities areas. You can also call 804-437-3972 for more information.
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