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

    Behind the Song: "All of My Heart"

    Aug 10, 2022

    Songwriter Chris Opie shares a glimpse behind the powerful moment that inspired the new Chase Oaks Worship single, "All of My Heart." Read more, here.

    Keep Calm and Parent On: Back to School Edition

    Aug 07, 2022

    How can parents help their kids gear up for a great year ahead? By being intentional, we can be the life coaches our kids need to be successful, at school and in life.

    How To Survive a High School Lock-In

    Aug 03, 2022

    What happens when a grown adult is voluntarily locked inside a space with a group of high schoolers for a whole night? Read more, here.

    Surprised by Church: A Social Recluse's Journey

    Jul 31, 2022

    Like faith itself, our relationship with a faith community is a unique one that can shift over time. Read about one person's story of relating to—and being surprised by—the church.

    Respite Nights Make a Difference

    Jul 28, 2022

    The Local Good Center and Chase Oaks Foster Care/Adoption Team are helping to meet huge and often-hidden needs in our own backyard. Read about how they are making a difference, here.

    Two Essential Back-to-School Checklists

    Jul 24, 2022

    BACK TO SCHOOL. Whether those words prompt panic or joy, we all want to make this year a great one for the kids. Use the following two checklists (one for “checking off” and one for “checking in”) to make sure everyone is ready to go!

    A Process for Making Wise Decisions

    Jul 21, 2022

    Great decision-making is a critical leadership skill. Chase Oaks Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares a simple, proven process for how to make wise decisions.

    Discovering a Passion for Mental Health

    Jul 17, 2022

    Cindy Park's path has led her from personal counseling to pursuing a new career as a professional counselor. Read more about her journey and newfound passion for mental health, here.

    5 Reflection Questions To End Each Day

    Jul 10, 2022

    How can we prioritize mental and emotional health more? One time-tested way: building a regular habit of self-reflection. Start by asking yourself these 5 simple questions at the end of each day.

    How To Be an Influencer Who Leads Others

    Jul 07, 2022

    Being an "influencer" can mean many different things. Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares key steps for leaders to grow in the kind of influence that puts others first.