‘Tis the season for giving! A local Midwestern comic book shop is doing just that by hosting a toy drive during the holiday season.
Elite Comics is owned by William Binderup and is going into its 24th year of being open in Overland Park, KS. The store has an amazing range of customers young and old, and it only continues to grow. One thing that makes this comic book shop stand out from the rest is that they host several charities throughout the year, working with organizations such as Southern Poverty Law Center and Hope House. Christmas time is no different and Elite Comics gives back to the kids in their community with the Children’s Mercy Toy Drive.
Children’s Mercy Hospital is a Kansas City children’s hospital that provides care for patients under the age of 18. Christmas can be a hard time for children to be admitted to the hospital, as well as for their families. Elite Comics began the Children’s Mercy Toy Drive about 4 years ago, only raising about $1,000. With a lot of hard work and help from the community, the Toy Drive has grown exponentially. It received $5,000 in toy donations and even more in cash donations last year. This year, they have a goal to receive $10,000 in cash because more money means more toys for hospitalized children and even their siblings. Parents can’t always leave the hospital to go shop for their hospitalized child and their siblings, so the donations from the toy drive really help take a load off parents, while still allowing children to experience the magic of Christmas.
Once the donated toys arrive at Children’s Mercy, they end up in the Snowflake Shop. This is a special store that is conveniently located inside the hospital and makes gift shopping easier for them. Also, all of the donations that Elite receives go to stock the Snowflake Shop.
Closer to Christmas, Children’s Mercy gives William, the owner of Elite, a list of what donated items they still need to ensure kids of all age groups can receive gifts. With the cash donations, Elite hosts a Cosplay Shop-a-Thon, where local cosplayers, including Jessica Porter as Supergirl (pictured below), join William at Target to purchase the items on the list. Customers that see folks out in costume, giving back to their community, really pulls at their heartstrings. There have been stories of customers who had sick kids as well, and were very touched to see that Elite was giving back. There was even a woman who, upon learning about the charity just that day, paid for an entire cart of toys.
This toy drive makes such a difference for the community and brings smiles to children’s faces. When I asked why it’s important for geeks to give back to their communities, William had this to say:
There’s a lot of people that have never taken shit in their life and…go about their life thinking “why should I help anyone else?”…The world could always use more good stuff. And people that are nerdy, people that are gaming, or whatever subculture of people that aren’t 100% accepted all the time…it feels good to help out other people.
Elite Comics Children’s Mercy Toy Drive is accepting toy and cash donations now through December 22, 2017. Learn more about Elite Comics and the toy drive by following their Facebook page. Feel free to send them a message and ask how you can help this holiday season!
Got any other stories of Geeks Giving Back this holiday season? Tell us all about it in the comments!