Toys for Tommy drive returns for second year, in memory of St. Charles toddler

  • The family of Campton Hills resident Tommy Stopka, who tragically drowned near his home, are bringing back the Toys for Tommy drive in hopes of helping local children in memory of their son.

    The family of Campton Hills resident Tommy Stopka, who tragically drowned near his home, are bringing back the Toys for Tommy drive in hopes of helping local children in memory of their son. Courtesy of Jennifer Stopka

 
 
Updated 11/2/2022 5:26 PM

This year will be the second official Toys for Tommy toy drive, benefiting the children of the Tri-City Salvation Army. Donations are due by Dec. 1.

Last year was a huge surprise and they are hoping to make this year's drive even better.

 

On June 14, 2020, St. Charles residents Jennifer Stopka and her husband, Tom, lost their 18-month-old son Tommy in a drowning incident near their home.

While this tragedy will never leave them, and Tommy will never get to know his two baby sisters (one of which was born this October), his memory goes on with this drive.

His family is committed to doing good to keep his spirit around and to help children in the area.

The idea for the drive was born shortly after Tommy's death, when the family donated several of his larger toys to the Tri-City Salvation Army.

Last year, Tom and Jennifer asked close family and friends if they would like to join them in making a donation of new toys, hoping to accumulate a nice pile to the Tri-City Salvation Army on Tommy's Dec. 3 birthday.

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The result was nearly 300 gifts, including 15 new bicycles, electric and manual scooters, a ride-in jeep car, Legos, Barbies, books, toy cars, mega clocks, games, toys for all ages, and anything else you could think of.

They received more than $1,200 in gift cards for older children, and purchased more with cash donations.

This year, the Stopka family is continuing their Toys for Tommy Drive, hoping to top last year's amazing turn out.

All in all, this has been a great way to create something wonderful in the wake of a tragedy. Tommy's family misses him terribly, and always will, but they are so happy that the memory of their son can make the holidays brighter for hundreds of kids!

The Toys for Tommy Amazon gift list can be found under the name Tommy Stopka on Amazon.com Gift Lists.

Several drop-off locations are also available and pickup may be available as well.

For questions or more information, email Jenstopka17@gmail.com.

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