WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — On Saturday, Dec. 4, the Wichita Area Jeeples, a group of people in the Wichita area who own jeeps, and Eddy’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (CDJR), came together for a toy run. They ended up raising over $7,000, which will be donated to The Gallant Few and Harbor House and received 948 toys that will be donated to Toys for Tots.
All from the community were welcome to participate in the toy run. However, only Jeeps were allowed for the actual drive. It was, after all, a Jeeple Toy Run.
Participants met at Jimmie’s Diner, located at 3111 N Rock Rd, at 8:30 a.m. to have breakfast before the event.
At noon, participants headed to Eddy’s CDJR, 11028 W Kellogg Dr., from Jimmie’s Diner for the toy run.
Participants who dropped off a donation received a free lunch and beverage.
The Wichita Area Jeeples and Eddy’s CDJR hosted a raffle as well. Raffle prizes, donated by the Wichita Area Jeeples and local businesses, include things like gift certificates, gift baskets, products for Jeep owners, and even a fishing trip. Raffle tickets were $10 each or 15 tickets for $100.
“The toy run is a way to provide a smile for a kiddo that may have gone without this year or even last year,” said Michelle Oliphant LSCSW, a local Jeeple. “COVID impacted our community deeper than anyone could have anticipated. Many of us are still struggling in the aftermath with depressive and anxiety-related concerns. Regardless of the many reasons to be divisive in today’s world, the local Jeep community is a way we can champion a concern that we can all embrace with one another. I’m grateful to be a part of this group.”
Matt Moore, a member of the Wichita Area Jeeples, had taken on the task of being the event planner for the toy run for the second year in a row.
Moore said he wanted to get the toy run up and running again in honor of his great grandmother, who used to go around to garage sales, purchase toys, clean them up, and wrap them in order to give them out to families in need. Moore says she called it ‘Operation Santa Claus’ and that her community loved to get involved. Moore says his grandmothers’ church took over the operation but that it did not last.
Wichita Area Jeeples share their enthusiasm for Jeeps in their Facebook group, have meetups and host their own personal events. If you are a Jeeple in the Wichita area yourself, they invite you to join their Facebook group.