December 2, 2010 in Washington Voices

Church operates toy store for needy to buy at discount

By The Spokesman-Review

Beau Pugh, youth director at Opportunity Presbyterian Church, sits with new toys that have been donated for the toy store.
(Full-size photo)

If you go

The Opportunity Presbyterian Church toy store, 202 N. Pines Road, will be open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are available in the church office or by calling (509) 924-9750. Child care is available.

If you wish to donate a toy, today is the last day to get it in.

Santa has opened a workshop inside Opportunity Presbyterian Church and it’s filling up with Barbies, Tonka trucks, Hot Wheels, stuffed animals, craft kits and more.

The toys have been collected through donations from church members and will be sold at an 80 percent discount of their retail value to low-income families in Spokane Valley.

Beau Pugh, church youth director, said the store is a great way for parents to find toys for their children at Christmas even through times of economic crisis.

“Obviously, the toys are really low price,” Pugh said.

It is the third year the church has opened the toy store to the community. The first year, the church opened up the store on the day a massive snowstorm hit the area, but still managed to serve about 50 families. The youth of the church started the project following a retreat. The theme of the retreat was giving back to the community.

“The kids love it,” Pugh said. “The students loved it.”

This year, the church is distributing about 100 tickets to elementary school counselors in the area to give to students’ families who receive free and reduced lunches. They are also giving away tickets in the office of the church.

“They are welcome to stop by the church or call to reserve one for them,” Pugh said.

He has also sent some tickets to the Goodwill mentoring program in Spokane, a group that contacted the church about the sale.

“Word is spreading,” he said.

The youth group will gather in the church Friday to decorate the area. Pugh said they try to make a couple of rooms in the church look like a toy store.

On Saturday, the church will offer gift wrapping, refreshments and child care, and hopefully, Santa himself will make an appearance.

There will also be free gifts for the children in child care to pick out for their parents and crafts for the children to create while their parents shop.

Around 10 volunteers from the youth program will greet customers and tell them about the toy selection. About 10 to 15 adult volunteers will be at the store as well.

Along with the donations of toys, church members also sent along some cash donations to the store. Pugh said those will go to local charities and help to stock toys for next year’s sale. Leftover toys will be saved for next year and some will be given to Toys for Tots.

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