Updated December 10, 2020 - 3:05 pm
In a Christmas season that’s so unlike many other Christmas seasons, it’s nice to hold on to a bit of tradition.
Even if that tradition is Chet Buchanan perching on 30-foot-tall scaffolding for 10 days for KLUC-FM’s annual toy drive.
And even if the drive — which collects bikes, toys, cash and gift cards for distribution to the children of Clark County— will conduct itself a bit untraditionally this year, it remains one way that Southern Nevadans can share the Christmas spirit in a year that can really use it.
The KLUC toy drive (kluc.radio.com/toy-drive) began 6 a.m. Dec. 3 and runs through 10 a.m. Monday. It’s the 22nd annual event for Buchanan, the morning drive-time host on KLUC-FM, who said he had no thought of taking this year off because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“There were just a lot of questions (about) how can we be safe and how we can make it safe for everybody,” he said.
This year, Buchanan’s wife will be the only person joining him on his perch. “And we’re asking everybody to stay in their cars, and we will accept donations from the trunk or back of your vehicle. We’re asking everybody to stay safe.”
Donors may participate by dropping off new toys, new bicycles and gift cards at NV Energy, 6226 W. Sahara Ave. Donation times are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Sunday and 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday. HELP of Southern Nevada will arrange for distribution of toys to children.
This year’s toy drive was challenging, Buchanan said, but “this year, of all years, I can’t think of another year that we’ve needed it more.”
Perlie Claus toy drive
Meanwhile, Perla Gumm — known around this time of year as “Perlie Claus” — is conducting her ninth annual toy drive on behalf of the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
Her goal this year is to provide toys for more than 4,000 children. The drive began Dec. 1 and continues until Sunday, and the toys will be distributed at the nonprofit organization’s Christmas party.
Unwrapped toys should be suitable for boys and girls ages 2 to 10 and may be dropped off at Optic Gallery Arroyo, 7290 Arroyo Crossing Parkway, No. 160.
After being furloughed from her bartending job in March, Amber Stevenson became a volunteer for a local food bank and noticed that even usable items sometimes would get tossed. So, she started a food bank of her own, taking such items and redistributing them to residents of the Silverado Ranch neighborhood.
She still runs her one-woman food bank and, as an adjunct to it, has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for gift cards to give to residents of the area to use for food.
The campaign — gofundme.com/f/saving-silveradoschristmas — runs through Dec. 16.
The Las Vegas Great Santa Run has gone virtual and the Magical Forest is a no-go this year. But Christmastime still is cookie time, and Opportunity Village makes doing good downright tasty with its new Dessie’s Table’s menu of premium cookies and baked goods.
Cookies come in six flavors and in holiday tins that are great for gift-giving. Proceeds go to Opportunity Village and orders can be placed at dessiestable.org.
VGK cheer boxes
The Vegas Golden Knights and Vegas Golden Knights Foundation are helping to create holiday cheer boxes for SafeNest, which provides services to people who have experienced domestic violence.
The project, spearheaded by Veronique Fleury and Hayley Thompson (Mark Stone’s fiancee), runs through Dec. 16. The goal is to give a custom cheer box to each woman in SafeNest’s program.
Each box costs $50 to assemble. Donations can be made through a GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/f/the-holiday-cheer-box).
Christmas angel giving tree
Southern Nevadans may shop for area children by picking up a shopping list from Salvation Army Angel Trees located at most area Walmart stores. After buying items on the list, the items can be left at the store for pickup by area Salvation Army workers and then distributed to children beginning Monday.
In addition, shoppers may fill Angel Tree shopping lists through Walmart’s website, and items will be sent directly to local Salvation Army units. For more information, visit the Angel Tree registry (https://bit.ly/3mLnlob).
Nathan Adelson Hospice will host a virtual “Luminary Lighting” at 6 p.m. Dec. 22. Donors may personalize luminary bags to honor deceased loved ones, and donations from the personalized luminary bags will aid the hospice’s work.
Luminary bags must be reserved before Monday. To donate and reserve a luminary bag, call 702-796-3141 or visit nah.org/events.
The Tropicana will host a drive-thru canned food drive for Three Square food bank from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.
Southern Nevadans may drop off donations at the hotel’s valet area. An additional donation station for non-perishable foods will be located in the hotel’s main lobby throughout the holiday season.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada is hosting a contactless toy drive to benefit its 13 locations throughout the valley.
Toys, art supplies, snack and other items can be purchased through the clubs’ Amazon.com wish list — https://a.co/5zlqwLQ — and donations then will be sent directly to the area clubhouses for distribution.
Donations should be purchased by Dec. 16.
Books for kids
Las Vegan Angela Vennes has launched a GoFundMe campaign to buy children’s books for Ronald McDonald House of Las Vegas.
Vennes, an independent consultant for Usborne Books & More, said the publisher of children’s and young adult books will match a portion of contributions received through the campaign.
The fundraiser will end Dec. 16. To donate, visit readlasvegas.com.
During Three Square food bank’s 11th annual Holiday Match Challenge, each dollar donated through the end of the year will be matched dollar-for-dollar by local business partners.
And, donations of non-perishable items can be made at several area locations. It’s recommend that donors call in advance.
Dropoff locations include: Truth Christian Ministries International, 5191 N. Rainbow Blvd. (702-476-5660); Three Square, 4190 N. Pecos Road (702-644-3663); Jewish Family Services Agency, 2309 Renaissance Drive, Suite B (702-732-0304); International Church of Las Vegas Dream Center, 6620 W. Katie Ave. (702-257-2273); and St. Therese Center HIV Outreach, 215 Palo Verde Drive, Henderson (702-564-4224).
Briar Williams, a teacher at Wendell Williams Elementary School, has started a GoFundMe campaign to provide bicycles to her students.
Williams explains that for the past two years she has been able to buy a bike for each of her students but can’t this year. So, she’s seeking $1,365 in donations, noting that, for some of her students, the bike will be the only gift they get.
Go to gofundme.com/f/ms-williams-bikes-for-holidays.
The 36th Flying Warrior, an organization made up of pilots, flight attendants and others in aviation, is assembling emergency winter care bags for the homeless.
The bags include such items as blankets, beanies, gloves, socks and personal care items. Donations to fund the bags are being accepted at the organization’s GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/f/help-us-give-out-60-winter-care-blankets) through Tuesday.
AutoNation is joining the Tyler Robinson Foundation and Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation for a “Twelve Cars of Christmas” event to help families with children who are battling cancer and other serious illnesses.
As part of the campaign, Southern Nevadans are invited to drop off unwrapped toys or gift cards at AutoNation stores in Las Vegas through Dec. 22.
Gifts and groceries
Las Vegas elementary school teacher Tiffany Belcher has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for gift cards students can use to buy small Christmas gifts and students’ parents can use to buy holiday groceries.
The fundraiser can be found at gofundme.com/f/help-mystudents-get-food-and-toys-for-the-holidays.
Mater Academy Mountain Vista public charter school is collecting toys, clothing and school supplies for students.
Donors may visit the school’s Amazon.com wish list at https://amzn.to/3oI3E1m to donate. Donations will be accepted through Wednesday.
Know of other help-for-the-holidays activities around town? Drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Write “holidays” in the subject line and make sure you include the name and phone number of someone to contact.