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Generosity helps local families

From left, Operation Marysville Community Christmas Toy Store volunteer Misty Ramsey shares a smile with customer Tiffany Mullins as they sort through stocking stuffers for Mullins’ growing family Dec. 18. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Operation Marysville Community Christmas Toy Store volunteer Misty Ramsey shares a smile with customer Tiffany Mullins as they sort through stocking stuffers for Mullins’ growing family Dec. 18.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Operation Marysville Community Christmas Toy Store saw similar numbers of customers as in previous years, but many more of them showed up without signing up first this year.

In the midst of coordinating the OMCC Toy Store volunteers, Bonnie Ramsey reported that the toy store had already served close to 200 families before noon Dec. 18, the second day the toy store was open.

The toy store divided its selections up by age and gender groups, allowing each parent a set number of larger and smaller toys per child, as well as used books, stocking stuffers, stuffed animals and as many coats as they can give to each family. Shoppers were escorted through each of the sections by volunteers, many of whom came from the USS Abraham Lincoln crash and salvage team this year.

Bonnie’s daughter, Misty Ramsey, explained that items were donated by local businesses, churches and other community service organizations, and were divided up evenly for the toy store’s three days, so that third-day customers wouldn’t find that certain items had run out already. She added that children are supervised in a separate area, so that they won’t see what their parents have picked for them.

Bonnie Ramsey noted that this year’s donations have included more sporting goods, skateboards, Bionicles and games, including one based on “Twilight: New Moon.”

“Marysville is showing that it’s a real community by working together here,” Bonnie Ramsey said. “There have been collection barrels and buckets in just about every building in town and we’ve seen more volunteers every year. The people who live here want to take care of the community’s children.”

Marysville resident Angela Langer is one parent who expressed her appreciation to the toy store and the community. A Navy spouse whose husband has been on deployment for the past six months, Langer was a first-time customer at the toy store this year.

“It’s not like I want to go to the food bank or come here,” Langer said. “I don’t ask for help unless I have to. I’m so grateful to everyone here.”

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