DEGRAFF – Tyler Slaven and his sister Monica Slaven have been very busy with their annual toy drive over the past few weeks.
“The toy drive is in full swing and all of the donation boxes are placed with a total of 41 locations spread across nearly a 300-mile radius,” Tyler Slaven said.
Last year the Slavens and their team, in a grassroots effort, collected a record 9,244 toys to donate to Columbus Nationwide Children’s Hospital by placing donation boxes in area stores, libraries and various other establishments along with having bake sales and special events. This is the fifth year in a row that the brother/sister duo have conducted their toy drive, and they hope to double their collections this year.
While in high school, the Slaven siblings came up with the idea for their toy drive. They have since developed a loyal team of family and friends who have pitched in and helped them out with their drives, including volunteers from the Ohio Virtual Academy, where they both attended school.
The Slavens and their crew will collect toys through Dec. 14. At that point they will collect all of the boxes at all 40 locations, making their final donation pickups. All of the toys then will be taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital on the following day, Dec. 15.
“I would like to encourage families to consider coming to an upcoming event we have going on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7,” Tyler Slaven said.
“The event is being hosted by Dorcey’s Flowers and called Dorcey’s Mistletoe Market and is going to be be held at 119 W. Chillicothe Ave., Bellefontaine. There will be opportunities for families to visit multiple vendors set up and do some Christmas shopping,” he added.
“On Friday, Dec. 7, there are special events going on from 4 to 6 p.m., and the entry fee is $10. However, if each party brings at least one toy, the entry fee will be waived. From 6-9 p.m. it will be free to the public,” Tyler Slaven said.
Also, starting at 6 p.m., everyone will have the opportunity to get pictures with Santa Claus. Tyler Slaven’s goal is to fill Santa’s sleigh with toys at the event.
“The event will continue on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. From 8-9 a.m. we will be offering a free pancake/waffle breakfast for each person who brings at least one toy donation,” he added.
There will be a photo booth and a variety of other fun activities hosted throughout the day.
Donation boxes are in Urbana, St. Paris, Mechanicsburg, West Liberty, Lima, Indian Lake, Sidney, Springfield, Bellefontaine, Anna, Botkins, Zanesfield and many other communities.
Donations can be made online at https://tinyurl.com/ybalnwxw and by scanning the QR Code below.
Where to drop off toys
• Dorcey’s Flower Shop, 125 W. Columbus Ave., Bellefontaine
• Walmart of Bellefontaine, 2281 US Route 68 S., Bellefontaine
• The Fun Company – Education Station, 136 S. Main St., Bellefontaine
• Rise Bakehouse (Market Place), 130 S. Main St., Suite 111, Bellefontaine
• Marmon Valley Farm. 7754 OH-292 S., Zanesfield
• Rural King, 1000 N. Main St., Marysville
• The Ribbon Box Cakery and Gifts, 121 E. Fifth St., Marysville
• Mechanicsburg Library, 60 S. Main St., Mechanicsburg
• Steve’s Market and Deli, 300 Cretcher Ave., DeGraff
• Buckeye State Bank, 101 N. Main St., DeGraff
• Dorcey’s Flower Shop, 108 N. Detroit St., West Liberty
• Farmer’s Equipment, 1749 E. US Hwy. 36, Urbana
• Steve’s Market and Deli, 324 N. Main St., Urbana
• Dorcey’s Flowers, 121 Scioto St., Urbana
• Rural King, 1476 Upper Valley Pike, Springfield
• St. Paris Public Library, 127 E. Main St., St. Paris
• Tractor Supply Co., Sidney, 1650 Michigan St., Sidney
• Walmart of Sidney, 2400 W. Michigan St., Sidney
• Tri County Veterinary Service, 3714 W. Michigan St., Sidney
• Amos Memorial Public Library, 230 E. North St., Sidney
• AJ Wise – Fort Loramie Branch Library, 300 E. Park St., Fort Loramie
• Russia Branch Library, 200 Raider St., Russia
• Jackson Center Memorial Branch Library, 205 S. Linden St., Jackson Center
• Lakeview Hardware Home Center, US-33, Lakeview
• Community Markets, 8793 Township Road 239, Lakeview
• Peaches Herbs and Flowers, 180 S. Main St., Lakeview
• Head to Toe Salon, 242 E. Lake St., Lakeview
• Prenger’s Implement, 2424 OH-364, Minster
• Anna Community Branch Library, 304 N. Second St., Anna
• Tri County Veterinary Service, 16200 County Road 25A, Anna
• Koenig Equipment, 16240 County Road 25A, Anna
• Philip Sheets Family Botkins Branch Library, 109 E. Lynn St., Botkins
• Dollar General, 108 S. Main St., Botkins
• Koenig Equipment, Botkins, 306 N. Main St., Botkins
• Apple Farm Service, 19161 Kentner Road, Botkins
• Riverside Art Center, 3 W. Auglaize St., Wapakoneta
• Dad’s Toy Shop, 123 W. Auglaize St., Wapakoneta
• Beauty by Jill, 226 N. Main St., Lima
• University of Northwestern Ohio Admissions Office, 1441 N. Cable Road, Lima
• Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 1721 Hartzler Road, Lima
• Ohio Virtual Academy, 1690 Woodlands Drive, Suite 200, Maumee
Top 10 Wish List for Toys
If you’re not sure what type of toy you would like to donate to the toy drive, below is a list of popular toys that kids wish for at the hospital. “We are accepting all non-violent new and unwrapped gifts for all ages of children up to teens,” Tyler Slaven said. According to the Nationwide Columbus Children’s Hospital website, here is the top 10 wish list of toys:
1. Plastic infant/toddler musical light-up or vibrating toys (V-Tech, Fisher-Price, Munchkin)
2. LEGO sets (small and medium sizes)
4. Musical soothers (plastic without cloth parts)
5. UNO card game
6. Little Tike & Fisher-Price action structures and parts, people, cars, animals and trains
7 . DVDs – Disney, Pixar, teen
8. Crayola art supplies (24-pack crayons, markers, colored pencils, scissors), coloring books, craft kits
9. Play-Doh and Play-Doh kits
10. Amazon gift cards
Toys by age group
Rattles, teethers, stacking cups, shapes, plastic links, cribs and musicalor light-up toys.
Crayons, coloring books, Play-Doh, puzzles, books, board games and dolls.
Books, games, playing cards, LEGO sets, bead set, craft sets, ink kits and paint kits.
Drawing, painting, model kits, word search and DVDs.
Ron Brohm is a regional contributor to this newspaper.