Warehouse space needed for this year’s Toys for Tots campaign

Published 6:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2022

LAPLACE — Toys for Tots coordinator Devona L’Herisse will soon receive the first shipment of 52 pallets of toys to be distributed to children in St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes throughout the holiday season.

The 2022 Toys for Tots campaign will officially kick off October 1. With more shipments of toys soon to come, storage space is greatly needed.

“We are providing new, unwrapped toys to children in the community. Right now, we are looking for warehouse storage space to house our toys as we count them and prepare for distribution to other organizations, churches and community groups,” L’Herisse said.

According to L’Herisse, challenges within the business community over the past two years have made it harder to establish community partnerships.

“It’s been very difficult finding warehouses for the past two years, and especially after Hurricane Ida,” she said. “We have so many businesses that normally allow us to use their space, but they are currently occupying those spaces and rebuilding.”

Businesses can also house Toys for Tots collection bins to accept community donations during the holiday season.

Storage is needed now more than ever, as this is the first time L’Herisse’s River Parishes Toys for Tots campaign will encompass both St. Charles and St. John parishes.

Last year, 11,639 toys were distributed to children in St. Charles Parish in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. L’Herisse will once again support the toy and doll program held annually in conjunction with St. Charles Parish government at the Edward Dufresne Center in Luling. This year, she is also partnering with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office to distribute toys to the community.

Kelsi Anderson, an eighth grader at Albert Cammon Middle School, will also assist with this year’s campaign as the only Youth Ambassador in the state of Louisiana.

Dates for both the St. John and St. Charles distributions will be finalized in the coming weeks. While the campaign ends on Christmas, warehouse storage space will potentially be needed through mid-February 2023.

L’Herisse has participated with Toys for Tots for the past nine years, and she always finds it rewarding to help shine a light of hope upon those in need.

“We have so many families in our parish that really need the help. I’ve served at many distributions from St. Charles Parish to the Baton Rouge area, and you see from the expressions on the kids’ faces when they receive a toy that they really appreciate this. It means the world to me,” she said. “We know the families have a lot more need now because prices have been increasing on everything.”

To register a child for the 2022 campaign, visit toysfortots.org, click “request toys” and choose a city to find local campaigns.

Those who would like to offer storage space for toys or find out more information about the St. Charles and St. John Parish distributions mat contact L’Herisse at 225-316-7346 or waggaman.la@toysfortots.org