DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) -A Duncan group is getting a head start on stuffing stockings for the holidays and helping those in need.
The Toy Shop is a long-standing non-profit organization made up of area women who attend churches throughout the city. They held their annual Spud Lunch Tuesday, which marks the official kick-off to the group's fundraising efforts that help them surprise less fortunate children with toys at Christmas.
Organizers say they raise about $7,000 each year.
Christmas may still be nine months away, but Spud Lunch chair Kathy Snider says the early bird catches the worm.
"We start early so we can take advantage of sales all during the year. We have people that go out and buy for us all year long and when they see a sale sign then they're on it," Snider said.
Snider says the toy shop gives toys to around 1,200 less fortunate kids around Christmas. She says volunteers start shopping for toys the day after Christmas.
"It really gives you a good feeling to know that you don't have to have you hand out for everything and you show the community that you're willing to work for some of that money," Snider said.
Bob Skiles is one of many volunteers who works the Toy Shop's Spud Lunch each year. Although Skiles is retired, he says he helps those in need not just because he loves helping people, but because it's fun.
"From the time, I get here until the time I get ready to leave. It's just laughing all the time with the people out there," Skiles said.
Event co-chair Lynn Samples says volunteers shop year-round for toys. She says they try their best to get toys that help make the kids proud.
"We look for what's popular. What any child that age would want and probably what their friends are getting. So, we do the best we can with the dollars that we have," Samples said.
At the end of the day, Samples says this event helps get them closer to their end goal of giving toys to children in need; something Skiles says warms his heart.
"The best part of it is delivering the toys and meeting the kids. It is really fantastic," Skiles said.
The Toy Shop will host two garage sale fundraisers before their toy giveaway in December. The first one will take place in April and the second in October.
Samples says all of the potatoes were donated by Dustin Cox with the Chisholm Trail Assisted Living Center. The desserts were made by the volunteers.