By: Ann Marie Cash – St. Petersburg, Fl.
Since 1921 The Christmas Toy Shop has been working consistently servicing the Pinellas County residents with assistance through toys. They sure have lived up to their mission of “We exist so that no child will be without a Christmas” for over 100 years. It is a non-for-profit organization, and all work is executed by volunteers.
During a tour I had a brief chat with Joyce Surplus. She has been volunteering for the past 16 years. When raising her daughters, she would sew clothes and dolls for them and that is how she developed her skills. Any child to receive one of those unique dolls will be very fortunate to own one.
The toy shop is run as a well-managed plant with production lines of handmade toys, refurbishment of toys, management & sales of new expensive donated toys on eBay. The money from the sales is put back into making the other toys. They also have the function of distribution. Everything has a place, and each person works on specific tasks. No duplication of efforts. As someone who is very familiar with manufacturing, The Christmas Toy Shop has it processes in order, and they are followed willingly & happily. It’s impressive. Everyone enjoys what they are doing, and it shows in the outcome.
In December 2022 the Christmas Toy Shop will distribute toys for eligible children ages infant thru 12 years. All registration must be done at the Christmas Toy Shop to receive toys. You must be a Pinellas County resident in order to register. There are only 6 specific days for registration. See photo below for details. The Christmas Toy Shop has been in existence for 101 years and can use all the help they can get for 100 more. Volunteers always welcomed.