Dassel twins Cora and Sofia Levandowski, 5, were sad to hear that not all children get presents on Christmas day.
Their mother, Jena Levandowski, said when they were Christmas shopping last year, they picked out some toys to donate to Toys for Tots.
“They asked me what we were doing when we were shopping for Toys for Tots,” Jena said. “I had to explain to them that some kids don’t get toys on Christmas. They got upset thinking about kids who don’t get presents.”
The twins decided they wanted to help.
Jena said both of the girls wanted to start collecting toy donations at their pottery gallery, Levandowski Pottery, 510 Parker Ave., Dassel.
“They approached me and asked, ‘why don’t we just start collecting toys for kids,’” Jena said. “So, we came up with the idea of filling our kiln with donated toys.”
Cora said she and her sister wanted to help others who didn’t have toys.
“We have a lot of toys in our house,” Cora said.
All summer, Jena, Cora and Sofia have been shopping in the clearance section for toys. Their grandmother has even matched every toy purchase they have made. Cora said they got a donation this summer.
“We went shopping with $150 this summer,” Cora said.
When the girls checked the mail one evening, they found someone had sent them a letter. Jena said one of the customers who had purchased some pottery sent along something special for the collection. It was a check for $100.
“We are so excited to go shopping for toys,” Sofia said.
So far, the Levandowskis have collected four to five boxes of donated toys and toys they purchased for the drive. Sofia said she has a goal amount of toys she wants to collect.
“500 toys!” Sofia said. “Ten-hundred toys. We want to give them to the kids and make them happy.”
Jena said they want to collect at least 100 toys.
Cora and Sofia both want to get as many donations as they can before the Dec. 13 deadline. They both said they needed some different kind of toys for their drive.
“We need boy toys and big-kid toys,” Cora said.
“Boy toys and baby toys,” Sofia said.
As part of the drive, anyone who comes to the pottery gallery and brings a toy or makes a donation will be entered into a drawing to win one of three pieces of pottery. Jena said anyone who brings a toy or monetary donation will receive a free ornament.
“We will draw the ticket on Dec. 13 for someone to win a larger piece of pottery,” Jena said.
There are two other collection sites in Dassel: Garden Nook Tea and Gifts, 400 Parker Ave., Dassel; and Dassel City Hall, 460 3rd St. S., Dassel. The family is also accepting Amazon donations. Unwrapped, new gifts for kids of all ages will be accepted. Jena said the toys will go to kids in Meeker County.
“We wanted to make sure the donations stayed local to help out the kids in our area,” Jena said.
The girls asked Jena to make a video about their toy drive. Cora and Sofia introduce themselves and talk about collecting Toys for Tots.
In the video, Sofia said they are working hard because it’s not fair that other kids don’t get to have toys.
“So we are kind of like Santa’s elves,” Sofia said. “We give toys all on our own on this Christmas Day.”
Cora said she has some boy toys that she’s going to give away.
“Please give some toys for donations,” Cora said. “Some poor kids don’t get any from Santa on Christmas Eve. And they feel sad. And all the other kids that get toys feel happy.”
Cora said they are trying to be like Santa to help other kids.
“So they can have toys to play with,” Cora said. “Because T.V. is bad for them to watch too much so they need to play some.”
For more information about the Levandowski’s toy drive, call 651-295-9911 or visit levandowskipottery.com. When visiting Levandowski Pottery, Cora and Sofia will most likely be there with a cup of homemade hot apple cider and show their toy collection with pride.