As Lisa Marr was taking part in Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce’s Thirsty Thursday gathering on Zoom Dec. 17, the Lincoln County Toys for Tots coordinator got another request for gifts, pushing to 606 the number of children signed up.
Marr said the need this year has been great and businesses and others have risen to it. Last year, the program had 400 children signed up, she said.
“I would like to thank everyone for helping us out. A lot of people have come forward in the last week ... We were in need of (more gifts for) ages 7 through 12 ... And luckily we had Saco Toys for Tots donate over 3,000 toys to us yesterday. So I think we’re going to be doing good this year.”
Marr gave WACC members a virtual look at some of the toys, games, crafts and other gifts the program had ready for families. “Wow,” Cheryl “Shep” Rust said. Gifts for teen-aged girls included blankets, curling irons, flat irons, coloring books for adults, and jewelry, Marr said.
Attendees praised the array of goods, including ring tosses and other gifts Hodgdon Yachts of Boothbay made; and laughed at seeing LCTFT’s stuffed animal mascot Lincoln Tot in a face mask.
As for Hodgdon Yachts, Marr said, “We always appreciate their help. They do an amazing job on all their handcraft items that they choose to do for the children. And the families appreciate them so much. They’re in awe when they come in and we ask if they would like to have one for their children.”
WACC’s administrative assistant Pat Cloutier and husband Russ, a WACC volunteer, volunteer for LCTFT. “Lisa and (Lisa’s husband) Russell really do a fantastic job and all we have to do is take people around and just kind of point them to what they could take for their age group” in the sections laid out at Huntoon Hill Grange, Pat said. “It’s very organized.”
Russ Cloutier said there is something special about seeing people fill up a bag with toys for their children. “Especially this year (which) has been so tough,” Pat said. “People have lost their jobs and ... you still want your kids to have something. So to have a program like this, it is wonderful.” Her husband said, “It’s got terrific people running it.”
Rust praised the Cloutiers’ volunteering for causes all over town. “It is overwhelming. They’re everywhere. They are just an amazing community couple.” Also in the virtual gathering, Rust pledged a $100 donation to LCTFT. Said Marr, “Thanks very much!”
With families canceling their reservations that day due to the several-inch snowstorm, Marr predicted a busy weekend to finish this year’s effort Dec. 19 and 20. Due to the pandemic, the program let in one shopper at a time, she said.