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TEAM Inc.

Julia Riccio and Morgan Camp

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Making sure each area child wakes up to presents on Christmas morning is the holiday wish of Trish Wigglesworth, executive secretary of TEAM, Inc., the area social service agency that supplies over 1,500 children with toys during the holidays. The organization collects toys during November and December to be distributed to less fortunate children in the community during the holidays.

“It really is the true spirit of Christmas – helping others who really need the help. Who doesn’t love that?” Wigglesworth said.

Donated toys are brought to TEAM Toys 4 Kids Drop Collection sites throughout Shelton, Ansonia, and Derby. Shelton High School is hosting its own drop-off site this year Shelton High School is hosting its very own drop-off site this year so be sure to bring your unwrapped toys to the box in the main office. Toys should be for ages infant to 12 years old.

Collected toys are brought from drop collection sites to a toy store set up by TEAM at 153 Main St. in Ansonia. Starting on Dec. 1, families identified by the agency come and shop for the toys. Parents are able to buy four toys per child using “Toy Bucks” provided by the organization.

“TEAM Toys 4 Kids began over 30 years ago, when a staff member was noticing the need,” said Wigglesworth. “The program has grown to serve over 700 families and approximately 1,650 children every year.”

Families must go through an application process to be considered eligible for receiving “Toy Bucks,” she said. In order to gain access to the store, “Toy Bucks” families must be at or below the federal poverty level. Those interested in registering to apply can go to 30 Elizabeth St. in Derby, or call (203) 736-5420.

“It truly is a wonderful time of year for our clients and volunteers alike,” said Wigglesworth. The toy store is set up and run by volunteers. “Many volunteers say it is their favorite part of the holiday season,” she added.

If you are interested in helping out TEAM, Inc., here are ways you can do your part:
1. Become a toy collection site through a school, club, or business. You can retrieve toy collection bins from TEAM, Inc. Spread the word about your new toy drive, which collects only new and unwrapped toys.

  1. Donate toys for ages ranging from newborn to 12 years. Bring your toys to any toy collection site, or to the TEAM store directly, located at 153 Main St, Ansonia.
  2. Donate money to support TEAM Toys 4 Kids. By donating money, the organization is able to provide for even more families.
  3. Become a volunteer. Volunteers can assist in collecting, sorting, and distributing toys in the TEAM store. Volunteer help is needed through Dec. 21. A clean-up crew of volunteers is also needed from Jan. 4-8.
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