For families looking for a way to stretch the dollar this holiday season, Urbana resident Julie Yohey found a way to help mothers like herself put toys under the tree without worrying about finances – the annual Christmas Toy Swap.
Yohey started the swap in 2014 and has seen participation nearly double over the past two years from 15 moms the inaugural year to 29 last December.
“Moms are realizing it’s a good way to be resourceful and get toys without spending anything,” Yohey said. “They are enjoying this event and telling their friends about it.”
To participate, moms are asked to gather up like-new toys that no longer interest their children and take them to the toy swap scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Life Net Christian Fellowship, 142 Dellinger Road in Urbana.
Mothers participating will be guaranteed to take home at least the same number of toys they take to the swap. Since Yohey also accepts donations from individuals not wishing to participate in the actual toy swap, there is a good chance mothers will leave with more toys than they take in.
In 2014, there were nearly 250 toys available for the mothers in attendance. Last year, with participation and donations up, the amount of toys up for grabs was “too many to count,” Yohey said.
Non-participants can place like-new toys in bags/boxes labeled “toy swap” and drop them off at Life Net Christian Fellowship. Individuals wishing to participate are asked to take toys with them the day of the event.
“We are really appreciative of the donated toys,” Yohey said. “We’ve had teenagers and grandmas donate toys no longer being used.”
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.