Evansville radio station WIKY 104.1 FM is hosting its sixth annual “Ton of Toys” campaign to benefit children of families in need this Christmas. The toy collection drive begins Monday, November 20 and continues until Thursday, December 14. Donations will be collected by Evansville area St. Vincent de Paul members to give to those in need.
“We’re thrilled that WIKY selected St. Vincent de Paul for this program from the beginning, and that partnership is now in its sixth year. Ton of Toys provides our Vincentians with another opportunity to serve those in need,” said Joseph Cook, Executive Director of the Evansville District. “While it is a lot of work for our volunteers, the joy it brings to us and to families in need is worth it all.” The program has had a working relationship with families served by social workers at Ireland Home Based Services since 2018, and successfully expanded its outreach last year to incorporate families with children enrolled at St. Vincent Early Learning Center and toy donations, who receive gifts from their Christmas corporate sponsor, Ascension St. Vincent Hospital.
Families needing assistance to provide their children with Christmas gifts can stop in at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at 809 N. Lafayette Ave. Monday through Friday from 8:00 – 4:00 (closed at lunch) or by calling the office at (812) 425-3485 during the same hours. The last day to register for the program is Thursday, December 14. Families get the opportunity to “shop” for their children on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 19 and 20. Times and locations will be provided to the families upon registration. No walk-ins will be accepted.
New, unwrapped toys can be left in designated collection boxes at either Evansville Lucas Oil Center (N. Green River Rd. or W. Lloyd Expressway), any of the eight Evansville and Newburgh Donut Bank locations, the Evansville Eyemart Express near the intersection of N. Burkhardt Rd. and Oak Grove Rd., or the Center for Pediatric Therapy at 4900 Shamrock Drive just off Green River Rd. between Lincoln Ave. and Lloyd Expressway. Toys can also be dropped off at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store on E. Walnut St. in Evansville. Online donations can be made at https://www.svdpevansville.org/ton-of-toys-2023/.
Rudolph Brothers Implement is another sponsor of this year’s program but will not be a toy collection location. The Donut Bank locations in Princeton, IN and Henderson, KY will not have collection boxes either. Neither will the Owensboro Eyemart Express serve as a collection location.
WIKY FM is celebrating its 75th year of serving the Evansville area. The station was honored earlier this year with the Marconi Award for Small Market Radio Station of the Year from the National Association of Broadcasters. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, an international network of charity founded in Paris, France in 1833, has been serving the poor in the Evansville area since 1882.