Every year since 2015, we at Twin Cities Geek have organized our Holiday Toy & Book Drive to support the families served by the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center and the individuals served by the Women’s Prison Book Project. And every year, we’ve been proud to report that it’s been bigger and better. However, in 2018, you responded like never before.
The Twin Cities geek community came together once again to make the holidays brighter for so many Twin Cities families, and you really outdid yourselves this year, with an unprecedented number of contributions—the the 2018 Twin Cities Geek Holiday Toy & Book Drive drive collected 4,357 toys and gifts and 3,419 books, graphic novels, manga, and comics for a combined grand total of:
That’s almost 2,800 more items than we collected in our 2017 drive and our largest year-to-year increase yet!
In addition, Games by James, which joined as a participating location for the first time in 2018, made the generous offer to donate a fidget spinner to #GiveTCG for every one sold in their stores during the drive. With the final numbers in, that came to over 1,000 spinners! Finally, all of these items were supplemented by generous cash donations through PayPal and Facebook totaling $190.
This is an absolutely amazing turnout, and each and every one of you who donated or helped spread the word about the Holiday Toy & Book Drive helped make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season. You all are amazing!
Donations for Families in Need
The donated toys, gifts, and children’s and young-adult books were distributed to children and their families in the Summit-University neighborhood in St. Paul through Hallie Q. Brown Community Center. As in past years, we especially asked you to donate items that would make good gifts for teens, and you came through again, giving all manner of tabletop games, video games, graphic novels, collectibles, YA books, DVDs, and more. This is important, as toy-drive initiatives like Toys for Tots so often focus on gifts for younger children—tots—but we geeks are well aware how much it can mean as a teenager to receive a great gift that reflects our interests, and the income level of our family does not change that simple fact.
So, on behalf of all the young adults whose lives you have touched, Twin Cities Geek would like to extend another extra thank-you. Thank you for being awesome!
Just some of the Twin Cities’ generosity!
Books for the Women’s Prison Book Project
Of the total donations, we also collected 497 paperback books to donate to the Women’s Prison Book Project in Minneapolis! They are being delivered to Boneshaker Books, who will distribute them to women and transgender and genderqueer people currently serving time in prison.
Books for the Women’s Prison Book Project.
Again, thank you to everyone who donated paperbacks. You have helped people you will probably never meet, but for whom something as simple as a book can mean so much. And that is a feeling a lot of us geeks can relate to, regardless of our circumstances.
Special Thanks to Local Business and Organizations
Of course, the 2018 Twin Cities Geek Holiday Toy & Book Drive would not have been possible without the generous support of local geek-friendly businesses and organizations throughout the metro who agreed to host donation boxes for us. Many of them have been participating for multiple years, and we were so happy to have them back again—but we were also thrilled that so many new locations joined us this year for the first time! Many stores also donated to the drive themselves, including the generous gift of over 1,000 spinners by Games by James noted above.
Spinners donated by Games by James.
This is a special thank-you to all of them, and we would like to encourage the community to check out these wonderful businesses and organizations throughout the year.
Hal has been heavily involved in fan, geek, and gaming culture since the dark ages of dial-up. She spends her time administrating several online communities, writing, and giving marketing advice to comic book professionals. Visit Hal's website at HalsPages.com.