The 20th annual 'Stuff The Van' Toy Drive was a success this year collecting gifts for over 2,400 kids. Thank you Casper for your gracious help. This year's toy drive is the most significant in its history, but the hard work is far from over. Much like the daunting task Santa faces each year, there is still the responsibility of giving out all these presents.

The thing that I wish all of our donors could see most is the actual distribution of the gifts, the impact it makes on these families – the look of relief on a parent’s face when they get to the toy shop and know that their kid is going to have a great Christmas.

- Donovan Short, Townsquare Media's 'Stuff the Van' host

In the spirit of the holidays, the Casper community came together. People gifted bikes, Transformers, Barbies, Legos, winter clothing, sports equipment, and so much more. Not only did individuals and businesses step up, but there is a massive undertaking before and after the toy drive. Just as Santa has his reindeer, Townsquare Media teamed up with Wyoming Food For Thought Project, Casper Housing Authority, Child Development Center, and Boys & Girls Club to make Stuff the Van a reality. They are like Rudolph guiding Santa's sleigh throughout Casper.

Our agencies all know their families and kids very well and are able to get away from the ‘one-size’ approach and really take time with these families. At the Casper Housing Authority’s distribution, for example – they have a gym where parents can bring their kids for professional childcare during the distribution. The children get to play, do activities, have refreshments, visit with Santa – while the parents are matched up down the hall with a personal shopper that guides them through all the donations, to pick out something that their kids will really enjoy. It’s unhurried, and very personal, with a great focus on making it happen with compassion and dignity for the person in need.

- Donovan Short, Townsquare Media's 'Stuff the Van' host

The Wyoming Food For Thought Project is a major player in Stuff The Van. Not only are they key in organizing the event, but they have added to the Christmas tradition by bringing their Weekend Food Bags program to the drive. Each day, thousands of Casper children don't know where their next meal is coming from, the WFFTP wants to help. They do so by providing bags of food when kids are away from school. Long weekends and holiday hit these families the hardest.

Many of these folks are in a really tough spot, some finding themselves with us for the first time - and often come in with their pride a little damaged – our agencies make sure to take the time to listen, help, and make sure they have a positive experience at a tough time. Year after year, we see past recipients come make donations at Stuff The Van when they’re back on their feet – with a strong desire to pay it forward to another Casper family now that things are better.

- Donovan Short, Townsquare Media's 'Stuff the Van' host

The sad truth is the job is never over when it comes to helping Casper's less fortunate. If you missed the toy drive, you can still donate to Wyoming Food For Thought this holiday season.

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