Arlington Haggen collects for Toys for Tots

ARLINGTON Arlingtons Haggen Food and Pharmacy is not only taking part in the Toys for Tots drive alongside other Haggen stores, but its also pitching in for the Arlington Food Bank, to help local families in need have a happier holiday season.
All the Haggen stores are currently collecting donations of new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves non-profit Toys for Tots charity program, through Dec. 22, but those stores will themselves donate a Mattel toy for each contribution valued at $9.99 or higher, of a toy purchased at their stores Nov. 11 and Nov. 18. The Marines will personally accept those donations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturdays.
Becky Skaggs, spokesperson for the Haggen Food and Pharmacy chain of stores, praised Toys for Tots for bringing so much happiness to local families who are unable to afford even the basics during the holidays, while Arlington Haggen Store Manager Clyde Ellis noted that the non-profit charity program was able to assist an estimated 7.2 million families last year, but with an estimated 12 million families in America in need, theres still a big gap there. Its a great way to give back, he added, echoing Skaggs encouragement to share the joy of the season with those less fortunate.
This years Veterans Day will also mark the start of the Seven Saturdays Before Christmas at the Arlington Haggen store, during which store employees will also be conducting a separate collection drive of new toys, new clothing items and food items to donate to the Arlington Food Bank, in time for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
According to Mike Katanik of the stores meat department, who serves as one of the events coordinators, not only will a collection trailer pull up to the front entrance of the store on those Saturdays, but the store also plans to sponsor a needy family in the area, for the second year in a row.
Well have a Christmas tree in the store, with tags on the tree for each member of the family, Katanik said. Last year, we had a family of six with four kids, plus an 87-year-old lady living on her own.
Katanik explained that the store will try to collect age-and gender-appropriate items for each member of this years family, but acknowledged that certain age groups can be difficult to shop for, which was why he advised donors to consider necessities such as socks, underwear, pants and shirts for the 12- to 16-year-olds.
Katanik commended the number of businesses, churches and other local families who contributed last year, recalling that it was amazing, to be able to fill these trailers for those in need, especially when theyre not expecting anything. Thats what its all about.
To learn more, you may contact the Arlington Haggen store at 360-403-3800, or the Katanik household at 360-474-1911, or you may log onto the Toys for Tots Web site at

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