A Valley nonprofit needs help moving 60,000 toys that soon will not have a home.
This Saturday, 911 Toy Drive has to move out of their Chandler warehouse and is asking for helping hands with the move.
The warehouse is part of a 10-building complex built five years ago, right about the time the real estate market crashed. Rather than sit vacant, the owners allowed the charity to move in for free. Now things have changed.
"We're desperate," 911 Toy Drive founder W. Steven Martin said, "we've got to find a place to go from someone who will take care of at least giving us a temporary home."
The nonprofit organization that for 25 years has allowed police and firefighters to give toys to children in distress has been occupying the 12,600-square-foot warehouse free of charge for the last three years.
Now, Sun State Builders has sold the warehouse and the new owners need everything out by midnight Sunday.
"We need somebody who has a warehouse who's willing to let us bring police and fire in there and make it a safer area, but at the same time to set this up so that we can help serve the needs of children in all of our communities across the state," Martin said.
If Martin cannot find a new warehouse, he said he will have to rent storage through Christmas.
"After three years and with short notice it's the worst time to move. We start at 7 a.m. to fill boxes, label, stack and load the toys into a tractor-trailer so we can park it somewhere in a shaded area in the Phoenix Area until we find a new warehouse location," Martin said. "Our hope is to find an empty donated warehouse so we can get the toys back on the shelves for our year-round program for police and fire before the heat ruins them."
The 911 Toy Drive has given more than 3 million toys to at-risk children in Arizona, according to the group.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can mail it to 911 Toy Drive, P.O. Box 6456, Chandler, AZ 84246.
The group is in need of trucks and volunteers (18 years and older) to help pack toys and help them move on Friday and Saturday. The location of the warehouse in Chandler won't be disclosed until you've been cleared to volunteer.
If you want to volunteer Saturday, contact Carole Bartholomeaux at 602-404-8879.
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