Tons of toys donated for tots on last collection weekend
LIHU‘E — Jacee Perreira, Bill Souza and their ‘ohana opened the Friday Toys For Tots collection at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center with a sizeable contribution totalling more than $4,000.
The surge of toys coming in continued with Leigh Feutz, representing Wilcox Medical Center, bringing two truck loads of toys.
A large container of toys from the Longs Drugs Lihu‘e store closed the opening surge in under 20 minutes during the final weekend of collection for this year’s Toys For Tots campaign.
“Sunday (today) is the final day we’ll be at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center,” said Kaua‘i Police Department Capt. Rod Green, commander of the Marine Corps League Kaua‘i, who spearheads the Toys For Tots campaign in partnership with The Salvation Army. “Sunday is also the final day we’ll be at the free surge testing site from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.”
Souza, who helped Jacee Perreira with the toy drive netting more than $4,000 in toys, said while the Toys For Tots ends Sunday, they will continue to collect toys through Wednesday, Dec. 23. Those toys will be turned over to Child &Family Service, he said.
“This is the first time I’ve done a toy drive,” Souza, Jacee’s fiance, said. “Jacee did a toy drive as a senior project five years ago. We’ve been fortunate to be considered essential. We had to close for a little while, but for the most part we’ve worked through this pandemic. We’re trying to help those who haven’t been so fortunate as much as we can.”
Cheryl Perreira, Jacee’s mother, said the drive has a lot of mahalo, including to Precision Fencing, Precision Landscaping, Clyde Souza Services, Mission Animal Control, Kuhio Auto Group, Cushnie Construction, Skinny Mike’s, Momi and Marvin Lum, and a lot of other generous donors.
The Wilcox Medical Center delivery included the results of an in-house drive that started when toy drop boxes were placed at the hospital from Oct. 1 and continuing until the delivery Friday.
“We were getting worried there weren’t that many for the older youth,” said Leigh Feutz of Wilcox Medical Center. “We checked the collection, and there were a lot for the younger keiki. But everything worked out because we mentioned how there was a need for the older kids and things like basketballs started showing up.”
Laurie Medeiros and her daughter Arianna represented the Longs Drugs Lihu‘e team effort that started when contributors went to the traditional location, only to find that it was not there.
“We just started our own drive for those employees who wanted to contribute,” Medeiros said. “A lot of people put something in, and we’re just delivering.”
Contributors can drop off new and unwrapped toys to the drive-thru bins at the Kaua‘i Veterans Center between 1 and 5 p.m.
A drive-thru tent is also up at the COVID-19 test site at Vidinha Stadium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.