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Toy Donations Piling Up For Wessington Springs

June 25, 2014, 6:29 AM by Jared Ransom

Toy Donations Piling Up For Wessington Springs
MITCHELL, SD -

A boutique in Mitchell is hoping to make a major impact on the lives of children in Wessington Springs. A toy drive that started yesterday is quickly picking up steam and the donations are rolling in.

After seeing the devastation caused by the tornado in Wessington Springs, boutique owner Kim Vilhauer knew she needed to do something to help. She decided her mission would be to help cheer up the children who have lost their toys.

From the big wheels helping to clean up, to the small wheels hoping to help cheer up. Toys being collected at the Dakota Scents Gift Boutique in Mitchell will soon be on their way to the kids of Wessington Springs.

"We were kind of looking and watching what everyone was doing with the clothing and non-parishable things like that, so we decided to put our focus on the kids," boutique owner Kim Vilhauer said.

Visit the Dakota Scents Facebook page for more information on how to donate toys

Mainly through word of mouth, the message of the toy drive soon spread through the city, and the donations started piling in.

"Lots of calls, lots of toys, and there's more to come with the calls today, which is great," Vilhauer said.

Some people are buying new toys and donating them to the cause. Others are sending off toys they've had for years.

"I had my daughter go through her toys today and she did some outdoor toys, a lawnmower, and she did some of her books and babies and some infant toys that she's outgrown," Courtney Hohn said.

It's a message of generosity that she hopes her daughter will remember for years to come.

"It makes me feel really good in my heart that my daughter is willing to give some of her toys away that she plays with every day that the kids in Wessington Springs don't have to play with anymore," Hohn said.

"The kids don't understand what's happening. Them losing toys is like us losing a diamond or you losing your tools out of your garage. This is gold to them, so anything to put a smile on a kid's face is great," Vilhauer said.

From bath toys to drawing books, all sorts of toys are being donated to the kids in Wessington Springs.

As more and more toys are brought in, Vilhauer can't help but to look forward to the moment they can make their delivery.

"I'm hoping we have to borrow a trailer to take them in, that would just be awesome. It would be like Christmas for these kids," Vilhauer said.

Vilhauer says they'll be accepting toy donations at the store at least until Thursday.

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