FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2016
Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391
Child and Family Services Division office receives sizable donation from Toys for Tots
The Child and Family Services Division (CFSD) Helena field office received a welcome surprise recently through a generous donation from Toys for Tots.
Howard Mears, of Toys for Tots, said he is always on the lookout for organizations to help in the Helena area and decided to give a boost to the local CFSD office with $3,000 worth of new toys. The toys will supplement and/or replace the current toy supply in the offices’ two family visitation rooms.
“We were overwhelmed that Toys for Tots made such an incredible donation,” said DPHHS Director Richard Opper. “This will truly help the hundreds of area families and children we serve.”
Mears credits the Helena community for their amazing support of Toys for Tots, which makes donations like this possible. “We have a very generous donor base here in Helena,” Mears said. “My job is to look for organizations in Helena in need of toys. We’re so pleased we were able to make this donation.”
Opper said the emphasis during family visits are to provide safe, positive interactions between parents and children who are involved with the agency. “Much of this interaction takes place in our visitation rooms,” Opper said. “The new toys will be put to great use on a daily basis for years to come.”
Many of the newly donated toys focus on child development, such as teaching shape and color recognition, matching, math skills, and hand-eye coordination.
The list of donated toys include shape sorters, stacking beads, foam bowling sets, play cars and trucks, building blocks, wooden nuts and bolts, furnished doll houses, puzzles, color books, dress-up bear with zipper, laces, buckles and buttons, a large set of colorful wooden train cars, and wooden nuts and bolts and counting bears.
CFSD provides critical services to protect children in Montana from child abuse and neglect. CFSD operates a child welfare system that works 24 hours a day 365 days a year to fulfill its mission of “keeping children safe and families strong.”
In 2015, Toys for Tots distributed over 12,000 toys to the Helena area, including to 1,443 children from 433 families.