How Summit Co. Children Services helps abused, neglected children during the holidays December 18th, 2015 Stocking the Holiday Toy Room written by Katie Jackson Each December, as thousands of children in Summit County write out their wish lists to send to the North Pole, there are hundreds of children in our communities whose wish lists include something more than toys: safety, stability, family, a home. These are the children and families served by Summit County Children Services (SCCS). SCCS is an agency that provides services for abused and neglected children in our communities. In any given month over 585 children meet the criteria for agency intervention. Case workers partner with families to provide the best outcome for a child to be reunited with their immediate family or placed in kinship care with extended family members. When there are no relative placement options for a child, alternative housing in foster care or permanent custody through adoption is the next best substitute. While there are many ways SCCS works to create a sense of normalcy for children under its care, one way the community at-large can help them create positive memories is by donating to the Holiday Toy Room and Adopt-A-Family programs. The Holiday Toy Room is a place for foster parents and kinship caregivers to “shop” for children in their care, free of charge. Donated toys and gifts are given a point value and sorted into age group by infant, school-age and teen. In addition to items that are “shopped” for, every child is given “zero point” items such as books, puzzles, school supplies and stocking stuffers. Over her 26 years at SCCS, community relations manager Sandy DeLuca has created a mission for the Holiday Toy Room program. “I want to ensure that every child has gifts under their tree on Christmas morning,” says DeLuca. “No child should ever wake up without anything underneath their tree.” DeLuca’s mission is making a difference. Last year over 1,300 children were recipients of gifts from the Holiday Toy Room, an increase of 23 percent from 2013. Items that are in the greatest need are toys for infants (birth to 18 months old) and teenage boys. Toys and games for popular movies such as “Star Wars,” “Minions,” “Frozen,” “Inside Out” and “Avengers” are also in high demand. SCCS also seeks donors to participate in the Adopt-A-Family program for the holiday season. Each year approximately 580 children are “adopted” by community groups, businesses and individuals, who are given a wish list of items that have been requested by a specific child in the program. Donors purchase and wrap the gifts, which are delivered personally to the children’s home by agency social workers. Because the holiday programs are completely donation-based and the need is ever growing, SCCS never knows ahead of time whether the demand for the season will be met. “For the past three years we have been very blessed with generous donors in our community,” says DeLuca. Donations can be dropped off seven days a week between 9 am – 8 pm through December 18 at the front desk of Summit County Children Services, located at 264 S. Arlington Street in Akron. Volunteers are also needed to sort donations and staff the Toy Room, which is open between December 2 – December 23. Please contact Sandy DeLuca at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-379-1994 for more information. Donation needs: Infants & Toddlers Baby dolls (all ethnicities) Baby blocks Large size cars and trucks New stuffed animals Educational toys Infant care items Cloth or board books School-Age Children Dolls (all ethnicities) Doll accessories Action figures Activity books Board games LEGOS sets Transformers Hand-held games Puzzles Craft kits Action figures Tweens & Teens Brightly colored slippers Ear buds and flashdrives Headphones Speakers (to connect to phones) Electronics of any kind, under $25 (portable CD, DVD and MP3 players) Infinity scarves Sports jerseys (L & XL) Gift Cards (teen-favored stores, fast food restaurants) Tell your friends:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.