ToyZone and Gifts for Moms Brighten The Holiday

Posted by Simret Ingram and Tracy Parlin, Contributing Writers, on Dec 22, 2020

ToyZone and Gifts for Moms Brighten The Holiday

Last week, Gabriela Marquez, a young mom of two children, walked into ToyZone. As her eyes fell on racks of warm winter coats, and rows of brand-new toys available to purchase at a steep discount, she broke down and cried. She made her way through the room with the help of a dedicated volunteer, carefully selecting items for each of her children.

As she was leaving, she tearfully asked the shift volunteers to tell whoever came up with the concept, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to buy Christmas gifts for my daughter.”


ToyZone is Chase Oaks’ annual holiday pop-up “store” which supports local children from Mendenhall, Rountree, Terrace, and Rasor Elementary schools, as well as families from Family Promise and Agape Resource Center. The store is stocked by donations which enable parents to shop for their children’s Christmas gifts at a very discounted price, bringing dignity back to charity. Every child also receives a winter coat.

Bikes, Bread, and More

This year, despite the pandemic, donors rallied to provide toys which would top any child’s wish list: bicycles, scooters, skateboards, LEGOs, and more. One bike club friend of a Chase Oaker organized a ride to collect items for ToyZone. Other generous donations came from a local chapter of LEAD, a nonprofit organization run by another Chase Oaker, and a financial services company through their local outreach program. Still more came from countless Chase Oaks families and community members.

And sixteen-year-old Hannah Atunez held her third annual pumpkin bread fundraiser for ToyZone. Hannah has enjoyed helping others year-round since she was very young but has a special love for ToyZone. Three years ago, she received several requests from close friends to purchase pumpkin bread made with her great grandma’s family recipe. Seeing an opportunity to give to others, Hannah sold a number of loaves and used all of the proceeds to buy items for ToyZone. Last year, her bake sale raised over $500 for ToyZone. This year, her father’s business matched the bake sale proceeds, doubling her impact to over $1000 worth of toys for ToyZone.

Along with the generosity of the community, ToyZone relies on the hard work of numerous volunteers. Despite the pandemic, over 150 people showed up to give their time and efforts to make this year’s store a success. One person came to volunteer and the mom he was helping recognized him from last year. She shared that at that time, she had been going through some hard things, and he had prayed with her. Those prayers had been answered. What are the chances that they would be scheduled (him to volunteer and her to shop) on the same day again?

In total, 228 families representing 365 children were served through ToyZone at its primary and Woodbridge Campus locations. Chase Oaks was also able to share the love with a number of community partners.

Partner schools received

  • sports balls for their gym
  • board games for their library
  • art supplies
  • trinkets for teachers to use in their classroom prize boxes

    Woodbridge shared its surplus toys with Cox Elementary School, 5 Loaves, and the City of Sachse Police Department.

  • Gifts for Moms

    All remaining toys and coats went to Chase Oaks’ Gifts for Moms, which seeks to care for and support single moms. Traditionally, the event is fun evening designed to lavish care on hardworking single moms. This year, the planners wondered what it would be like without the typical red carpet, valet parking, childcare, talent shows and testimonies, and toy shopping for children.

    But God knew. He knew that in the middle of a pandemic, single moms would need caring intentionality: a warm smile from someone handling the car line; a “Merry Christmas” sign held up with joy; gifts given with love by other women who care; and a meal for them and their children too. As the guests drove through the event, they also received a bag of toys for their children and a special craft to make for their tree.

    Around the corner, each car was greeted with the question, “How can I pray for you?” Guests shared about their hurt and heavy burdens, but each left the event in smiles. Who knew a drive-through a parking lot could be filled with so much love?

    Thanks to the generosity and commitment of donors and volunteers, ToyZone and Gifts for Moms have made a difference to hundreds of families this Christmas season.

    For more ways to make a difference, consider giving, or serving with a Partner Team or the Local Good Center.

    Share This:

    Recent Stories

    Swipe to Discover more

    10 Interesting Facts About Jesus That Might Surprise You

    Feb 27, 2024

    Jesus Christ is one of the most controversial figures in history. When you look at his life, there are some interesting facts about Jesus that are truly surprising.

    Easter Eggs: What Is the History Behind This Tradition?

    Feb 27, 2024

    Ever wonder what eggs have to do with Easter? We've done some research, and the answer behind this common tradition lies in the roots of early Christianity. Read more, here:

    From Local Good Center Student to Staff: Mariana’s Story

    Feb 26, 2024

    The Local Good Center has seen countless people experience empowerment, transformation, and belonging within its doors. Read more about Mariana's inspiring story, here.

    3 Ways To Keep Learning About Black History

    Feb 25, 2024

    Black History Month celebrates the heritage and achievements of black Americans, past and present. But why and how can we keep learning, once February is over?

    Remembering the Dream: Honoring MLK, Jr.

    Feb 23, 2024

    Several Chase Oakers share their reflections on the impact and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.

    Five Things You Can Do For Lent This Year

    Feb 11, 2024

    What's the history of Lent? How is it observed? It's not just a way to pass time before Easter. It's a great opportunity to take some steps toward personal transformation.

    Creative Ways that Everyone Can Celebrate Love

    Feb 09, 2024

    Valentine’s Day: love it, hate it, skip it? Whatever your view, love is for everyone at any age or life stage. We’ve got some fresh ideas for how everyone can celebrate love this week and beyond.

    Where To Celebrate Lunar New Year 2024 in DFW

    Feb 05, 2024

    Happy Lunar New Year 2024! We've listed just a few of the many places you can celebrate the Year of the Dragon in DFW.

    Four Reasons Why We Should Celebrate Black History Month

    Jan 30, 2024

    Black History Month is a celebration of the lives and achievements of African Americans who have made a difference in our world.

    The Local Good Pantry: Nourishing Communities, Creating Hope

    Jan 26, 2024

    The newly opened Local Good Pantry offers hope to the surrounding community by addressing hunger and food insecurity with dignity.