Shepherdstown Daycare offered a way for parents to "shop" for Christmas and recycle gently used toys at the same time.
Known as their "re-wrap" event, the center has offered the opportunity for parents to purchase the toys using monopoly money. Each family that comes to shop is given an amount of money based upon the sliding scale used for tuition at the center. Parents received from $10 to $15 on average to shop in the "store" where items were priced usually at $2 or below.
"People with the lower incomes get more money to spend," said Heather thorn, secretary of the daycare's Board of Directors.
The offerings range from stuffed animals to board games, barbie dolls and blocks. Many of the items this year were new while all others were of good quality ready to be recycled to bring joy to another child.
Hannah Lloyd, chair of the parent committee, shared that there were more new toys this year than in previous years. But, she said, the idea has always been to re-use, hence the "re-wrap" title.
"We are economically and environmentally friendly," she said. "This is an effort to rescue toys that would otherwise be thrown away."
While there are approximately 70 families who have the opportunity to take advantage of the re-wrap event, not all do so, for various reasons. For those who took the time to shop, their children were entertained by face painters and staffers at the daycare who kept them occupied away from the "toy store."
Parents were able to have their gifts wrapped as they finished shopping to avoid any peeping eyes seeing what surprises were found.
"It is incredibly heartwarming to see the parents come," said Patty Martineau, president of the Board of Directors.
At the end of the shopping evening, the toys that remain can be "bought" by teachers at the center who also received "money" for shopping. Games and other items find their way to classrooms for the children to use and enjoy all year.
Martineau shared that all remaining new toys were donated to the Toys for Tots program while gently used toys were taken to the local Goodwill.
The center is currently taking applications for openings. Martineau said that there are spaces in the pre-K program next year as well as in the class for 3 1/2-4-year olds and the 3-12 month age group.. Interested parents should contact Melissa Holman, director of the center, at 304-876-6923.
The center relies heavily on community support for programs such as the "Re-Wrap" but also for operating expenses. To be able to provide the sliding scale for parents of student enrolled, financial assistance must come from a variety of locations. The Center currently is conducting their Annual Fund Drive. Those interested in making a donation may send it to Shepherdstown Day Care, P.O. Box 388, Shepherdstown, WV 25443. Online donations may be made through their website at www.shepherdstowndaycare.org.