All Stolen Toys Replaced By Flood Of Donations

By: Abby Barnett Email
By: Abby Barnett Email

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Toys for Tots in Wichita will be able to play Santa Claus this year after all.

After 1,000 toys were stolen from the Toys for Tots warehouse over the weekend, calls and donations began flooding in on Monday. The Marine Corps, which runs the Toys for Tots program, says it has received more than enough toys to replace all those that were stolen.

The Rev. Mike Stockwell, committee chairman for the Wichita program, says any toys or money left over will be used for next year's program.

Gov. Mark Parkinson donated $1,000 on Monday, and thousands of dollars more came from congressional candidate Wink Hartman, Spirit AeroSystems employees, the Bombardier Aerospace Learjet Care Fund, unions and Wichita residents.

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December 14, 2009

Sometime between 4:00pm Saturday and 11:00am Sunday, one thousand toys totaling more than ten thousand dollars, were taken from the toys for tots collection site along east Kellogg.

Those with the Toys for Tots organization said this crime is heartbreaking and unimaginable. At first, they were worried. They said they didn't know how they were going to replace all of the toys in time for Thursday's finale to the toy drive. Now their worry is subsiding... Donations are pouring in.

As more and more people started hearing about the organizations misfortune, more people rose to the occasion and started giving.

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson and his wife gave a $1,000 donation to replace toys. Local businessman Wink Hartman gave $5,000 to the charity, and is planning to give an additional $5,000 to crime stoppers to help catch the thieves. Employees from Spirit AeroSystems are also making a substantial donation. They're giving $15,000 as a way to turn this negative event into something positive.

Those with Toys for Tots said they are overwhelmed by the generosity of the community. They were confident their giving goal would be met, they just didn't know how quickly.


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