June 26, 2016


Toy drive approaches goal before final collection

An anonymous donor left a pile of gifts Friday in The Chronicle-Telegram lobby for the Not-Forgotten Box toy drive. Today is the last day donations will be taken. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — There are those donors who give to the Not-Forgotten Box and while inside the lobby of The Chronicle-Telegram quickly jot down their name and donation for the official record.

To those people we say, thank you.

And, then there are those who bring in a bounty of dolls, trucks, coats and building blocks and walk back out. No name. No title. No company to which to attribute the donation.

To those people, we also say thank you.

Friday afternoon, one of those secret Christmas angels came to The Chronicle’s office to donate to the annual toy drive held in conjunction with the Elyria Salvation Army and not only did he or she donate anonymously, he or she donated in a big way.

The donor dropped off more than 800 items.

Packed into several cardboard boxes, the items included everything imaginable, said Lucy Goldsmith-Velez, who each year orchestrates the counting, sorting and delivering to the Salvation Army.

“They just wanted to do a good thing,” she said. “They didn’t want to leave a name.”

Elyria police Officer Dan Sumpter, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 30, and Detective Hans Van Wormer present donations Friday to the Not-Forgotten Box. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

The donation was a significant step toward the goal of 8,000 toys. As of 5 p.m. Friday, a total of 7,845 toys had been collected. Today is the last day to donate, with The Chronicle office at 225 East Ave., Elyria, open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Churches, school groups and even police officers who patrol Elyria neighborhoods stepped up with donations.

“We deal with the families, we see the kids at the worst time and everybody needs something for Christmas,” said
Elyria Detective Hans Van Wormer of the Elyria Police Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 30.

Van Wormer and Elyria police Officer Dan Sumpter, FOP president, took the suggestion list provided by the Elyria Salvation Army and purchased as many items as they could find.

Spider-Man, Iron Man, bath products and jewelry-making kits filled two large red satchels. In all, the FOP donated more than 40 items.

In the past, the group has made a donation directly to the Salvation Army. This year, its members wanted to play Santa.

Salvation Army Major Bob Sears said the main need is for 11-, 12-, 13-, and 14-year-old boys and girls, typically the least-shopped-for age group.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

About Lisa Roberson

Lisa Roberson has been with the Chronicle since 2006, and covers Elyria city government and public education. She can be reached at 329-7121 or LRoberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter.