Cumberland Times-News


January 22, 2013

Gently Loved Toys had its best Christmas campaign in 2012

A huge heartfelt thanks to each of you who helped to collect for our sixth annual toy drive of Gently Loved Toys and books for Children at Western Maryland Health System and the surrounding community during the Christmas season.

We were able to package 170 gift bags with 510 toys and approximately 570 books. This was our biggest collection of toys and books to date!

Our efforts continue to grow each year as each group has helped us to clean the toys and some have helped to package the toys themselves.

Each gift is delivered in a recycled gift bag and includes a handmade picture by a child. A great big thank you to BelAir Elementary School’s fifth grade class, led by Laurie Ferguson; Cumberland Gospel Assembly’s Mom’s and Tots Story Hour, led by Ms. Sheila and Ms. Becca; Oliver’s Grove United Methodist Church, led by Carl and Tammy Portmess; West Side Elementary School’s fifth-grade classes, led by Andy Ferguson, and the Boyer and Taube families.

This community-wide effort of collecting, washing, and packaging reused toys resulted in an overwhelming number of gifts and books that were delivered to children in the hospital as well as through the Department of Social Services in association with the hospital.

Thank you to Western Maryland Health System and Lisa Hout, administrator; and Samanth Jones, RN; for their openness and willingness to store the toys and find the right homes at Christmastime for each of the gift bags.

Gently Loved Toys was designed in 2007 with the mission of providing gently loved (used) toys to children in the community: to give children and families an opportunity to give to other children and to promote the reuse of toys as a way of caring for the environment.

If you, your family, or group is interested in participating in this wonderful and needed community effort in 2013, please contact us at: or look for our Facebook page in the summer of 2013!

Once again, thank you to all the dedicated and loyal leaders, teachers, children, and families who helped to make this our biggest collection ever!

Jill DiNola and family

Founder and coordinator,

Gently Loved Toys


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