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Barnes & Noble at the Mesilla Valley Mall, 700 S. Telshor Blvd., is inviting customers to give the gift of reading to people in need during Barnes and Noble’s annual holiday book drive, which began Nov. 1 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 5.
“The Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive provides customers the opportunity to donate books to non-profit organizations,” Barnes & Noble Mesilla Valley Mall Community Outreach Manager Caitlin Ferguson said. This year, the local bookseller is collecting books for the Toys for Tots of Doña Ana County program. Every book donated through the drive “will stay in our community,” Ferguson said.
“Our local Barnes & Noble store has been of our biggest supporters and helps us provide quality gifts for the children,” said Patty Groth of Las Cruces, who coordinates the Toys for Tots of Doña Ana County program with retired U.S. Marine Joe Montoya. “We hope to provide a book for every child this year,” Groth said. “Last year, we provided toys for 5,495 children in Doña Ana County. We couldn’t have a successful program without donations from the community. Thank you so much!”
Groth said more than 150 toy-donation boxes have been distributed throughout the county to collect toys for boys and girls ages 0-14. In addition to book donations, Groth said toys especially needed this year include soccer balls, basketballs, games and other toys for ages 8 and up.
“None of our significant fundraisers happened in 2020 (because of Covid), so we need cash to buy toys,” Groth said, along with new, unwrapped toys and books.
Toys for Tots was started in Las Cruces in 1998 by the late Jack and Peggy Petrowsky. They were able to provide toys to 65 children that first year. The program provided 18,000 toys, books and stocking stuffers to 5,500 children countywide in 2020.
Toys for Tots is coordinated locally by Rotary Club of Las Cruces and El Perro Diablo Marine Corps League Detachment No. 478 of Las Cruces, through Las Cruces Public Schools, the Gadsden Independent School District and Hatch Valley Public Schools.
Contact Groth at 575-202-6185 and Montoya at 575-571-7728. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://las-cruces-nm.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/donate-toys.aspx and Las Cruces Toys for Tots on Facebook.
Mail donations to Rotary Club of Las Cruces, P.O. Box 1912, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004.