Local toy drive assists struggling families

Stacey Parmenter is the Marketing Director for Pro Auctions in Chesaning. / Mike Horne

"I just can't imagine telling a two-year old...a two to 12-year old that there's no Santa Claus."

Those words provide a glimpse into the motivation behind Stacey Parmenter's quest to assist struggling families in Mid-Michigan. As the Marketing Director of Pro Auctions in Chesaning, Parmenter has helped launch "Misfit Toys For Girls and Boys."

"Being able to do this is gonna help a lot of families," said Parmenter. "And it's gonna help take the financial burden off a lot of families, who were not planning on having a Christmas as bright this season."

Parmenter's program takes into consideration the difficult economic climate, making it a "win-win" for all those involved.

"It's not a financial obligation," she said. "It's a simple as going through your kids' toybox or going through your house. You're cleaning your house before Christmas anyway, and trying to get rid of all the clutter. So, just as kids grow out of clothes, they also grow out of toys."

But it's not just toys that Pro Auctions are seeking. They also encourage items such as pens, pencils and notebooks that kids could use in school. Judging from early responses, items of every nature are in high demand.

"Within four days of putting it on the website, we had 11 families. And now, I think we're up to 25 that really want this help."

After receiving so many great Christmases from her parents as a child, Parmenter wants to ensure that all families are able to experience the same good fortune.

"We never went without a great Christmas...ever, didn't matter," said Parmenter. "And to help other families do the same, and to have those Christmas memories looking back one day, instead of having that one year where they maybe couldn't quite swing it through, it's worth it. It's worth every penny."

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