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Here's how you can buy special Christmas gifts for local kids experiencing homelessness

Posted at 6:36 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 19:13:08-05

COVINGTON, Ky. — A local toy store owner is hoping you can help bring joy to women and children in need this holiday season.

Stoney’s Village Toy Shoppe, located at 323 W. Sixth Ave., is hosting a “giving tree” that will support theWelcome House of Northern Kentucky, a Covington nonprofit that helps about 2,500 people experiencing homelessness every year.

“It’s a giving tree,” said Stoney’s owner Sandi Stonebraker. “They just pull the tag off the tree, bring it to me and I will ring it up and pull the toy off the shelf and get it sent to the Welcome House.”

Pictures of those toys are hung on a small Christmas tree outside the store. The tree, which is new to Stoney’s Village this year, was the brainchild of Terry West, who volunteers as a chef at the Welcome House during the week.

“Monday and Friday I cook meals for 30, sometimes a few more,” said West. “That gives them a home-cooked meal, food that they are used to eating.”

Kelly Rose, the director of marketing and development at Welcome House, said the toys purchased from the giving tree will go a long way with the children the organization serves.

“They are still children, they still deserve new toys and special gifts,” said Rose. “Whether it is for Christmas or their birthday, those things don’t stop just because you are experiencing homelessness.”

Stonebraker said she tried to pick toys that were small and containable.

“These children aren’t always in a permanent home,” she said. “I have the items that I thought would be appropriate on the tags on the tree so they can look them over.”

You can find STEM toys, puppets and board games nestled inside three fully stocked rooms at the toy store. Stonebraker said her store is known for having gifts that stimulate children’s minds.

Stonebraker is also asking customers to consider donating cash, so she can purchase toiletries for the women in the Welcome House shelter. For more information, contact Stoney's Toys online.