L.E. Phillips Memorial Library hosts toy drive for Afghan refugees

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Toys can often be a source of comfort for children. The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire is asking for the community’s help to provide some comfort to the Afghan children staying at Fort McCoy.

First News at Nine’s Max Cotton shares how you can donate to the toy drive.

It’s running a toy drive, collecting donations until it closes at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The library also collected toys this past Saturday.

The library’s Deputy Director, Kim Hennings, said staff received a call from Fort McCoy’s legal team asking for donations this past Friday.

“We put it together very quickly and we have an amazing team that were willing to step up and say we’ll make it happen and were happy to help,” she said.

After collecting toys Saturday, the library was closed Sunday through Tuesday. Wednesday is the second and final collection day.

Despite only taking donations for two days, Hennings is amazed at the amount the library’s received, which she said is several bins worth of toys.

“It’s inspiring to see and know that these kids will have a little bit of a sense of normalcy by being able to play and have fun in a very scary and uncertain time for them,” she said.

One of those donors, Alan Voss helps run the Broom and Crow Bookstore in Eau Claire.

He donated a bunch of books and toys Wednesday morning, which the store had been collecting the past few days.

“We put a call out and had people come and donate some of their used children’s toys and books and things like that because we really wanted to reach out and give back,” Voss said. “Even though these may not be people we know, these refugees are still very important people.”

He said it’s really nice to live in a community that cares so much about others

Hennings said the library is also accepting other items including fall and winter clothes to send to refugees at Fort McCoy.

The library has moved from its downtown location to a temporary facility located at 2725 Mall Drive in Eau Claire.

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