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Pick & Treat for Tots drive begins Oct. 1

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on September 24, 2014 with No Comments

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Melanie Dooley and Jean Coleman from The Tot Shop and Jeannette Blewett and Jennifer Barnes from BMO Harris Bank get ready to accept donations for the Pick & Treat for Tots drive.

The second annual Pick & Treat for Tots drive to benefit the Family & Youth Services Bureau’s (FYSB) Tot Shop will be held from Oct. 1 through 31.

The Tot Shop is an incentive-based program where young parents can shop for needed baby and toddler supplies.  However, the items are not given away and they can’t be purchased with money.

Parents must earn coupons by going to doctor visits, checkups for their kids, getting immunizations, attending parenting classes and nutrition workshops—doing things that educate them to be better parents. Then they receive coupons after attending these activities, and exchange their coupons for needed supplies like clothing, beds, and books.  Over 2,000 local families used The Tot Shop in the past year.

The drive to replenish supplies for The Tot Shop is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and area residents can participate by dropping off their donations to any BMO Harris Bank branch in Chesterton, Portage or Valparaiso.

Also, community members can participate by holding a “baby shower” with their office colleagues, church, neighborhood group or organization during the month of October.  After the shower, items can be delivered to the FYSB office at 253 W. Lincolnway in Valparaiso or call 219-464-9585 to have items picked up.

Items in need for babies and toddlers at this time are winter clothing, newborns to 4T; winter jackets/coats, newborns to 4T; pajamas, sleepers, for newborns to 4T; blankets for beds; receiving blankets; educational/developmental toys; sheets for cribs; high chairs or booster chairs; bathtubs; and potty chairs. Because of hygiene concerns, The Tot Shop only accepts new items.

For more information about Pick & Treat for Tots, contact Jackie Gray at 219-464-9585 or jgray@fysb.org.

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