Person-to-Person offers drive-thru holiday toy store in Darien

DARIEN — A little snow didn’t stop the elves at Person-to-Person from transforming its holiday toy store into a drive-thru event last weekend.

The toy store is the organization’s annual event designed to help make magic happen for thousands of children in the community, and ensure that low-income families in lower Fairfield County are able to have gifts for their children to open.

Due to COVID-19, Person-to-Person changed its traditional toy store to a drive-thru winter wonderland, where each participating family received a holiday gift bundle, including a gift card for each child in the family, a book and a board game.

Each participant was required to have a scheduled appointment, to help ensure social distancing and safety protocols were followed. Person-to-Person staff and volunteers were on hand to distribute the holiday gift bundles. The event was also attended by St. Luke’s the Rev. Ryan Fleenor, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, and state Rep. Terrie Wood and other officials.

Flexo Converters, of Norwalk, donated 1,500 bags for the bundles, and local groups, including STAR Inc., hand-decorated the bags.

Earlier this month, Opus for Person-to-Person ran fundraising efforts to purchase gift cards for families in need. All qualified families will receive one $20 gift card, a book for each child, as well as a family board game.

Members were able to book a “Santa Sighting” or a “VIP Santa Visit,” both of which involved Santa Claus driving or stopping by member’s homes on a Noroton Fire Department fire engine.

This event sold out within hours and its profits also went to the Person-to-Person toy store.