Volunteers, donations sought for holiday food drive, Toy Store in Marysville

MARYSVILLE – With the holidays coming up, volunteers and donations are needed for the annual Marysville Food Bank and Toy Store.

The donation campaign will kick off with the All City Food Drive Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations needed include food, unused toys, stocking stuffers, gift cards, new books, coats and wrapping materials.

More than 75 locations across Marysville are partnering for this year’s drive. Residents are encouraged to look for the iconic red giving barrels wherever you shop and do business. Donations can also be dropped off at the food bank on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, as well as Tuesdays from 2-7 p.m.

Another way to give is by bringing unwrapped gifts for children ages newborn to 17 to any city government building, including the parks office, community center, city hall, police station and all fire stations.

“When struggling families come to the Food Bank for support, they are getting what they need to exist,” food bank director Dell Deierling said.

The Toy Store is another important way to help.

“The Toy Store brings a bright light to a child in need during the time of year when children should find extra joy in their lives,” he added.

If you need support, please see us, he said.

“By taking care of each other we are all better for it,” Deierling said.

Toy Store chairwoman Tara Mizell said the giving this time of year locally is heartwarming.

“I have been involved with the food bank holiday toy store for over 20 years and each year I am humbled by the support we receive from the community,” she said.

The stories those in need share with the volunteers and donors is what keeps they helping year after year.

“The mom crying tears of joy because her child will get a new coat and a toothbrush on Christmas morning, or the parents of a child who will now have a bike for the first time at age 12,” Mizell said.

If you would like volunteer at the food bank contact marysvillefoodbank@frontier.com. If you would like to volunteer at the toy store or need more information, send an email to fbtoystore@gmail.com or contact volunteer coordinator Christie Veley at 360-363-8507.

Families in need are asked to sign up at the food bank, 4150 88th St. NE before 11 a.m. Nov. 30. Key dates:

•Thanksgiving Food Basket Distribution, Nov. 16 and 19, 9 a.m. – noon; Nov. 20, 2–6:30 p.m.

•Toy Store, Dec. 12 (A-K) and 13 (L-Z) 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

•Christmas Food Basket Distribution, Dec. 17 and 21, 9 a.m. – noon; Dec. 18, 2–6:30 p.m.

The food bank and Toy Store committee was formed in 1985 by several regional service organizations and their volunteers. Their goal was to provide all local families in need with toys and food during the holidays. In its first year, 104 families were served. Today, more than 1,300 children are served.

Questions about the food drive and toy and book donations should be directed to Mizell at tmizell@marysvillewa.gov or 360-363-8404.