December 13, 2017 | by Lisa Mattson
Every year, just before Thanksgiving, two red grape gondola “sleighs” arrive at Jordan Winery, signaling the start of our annual Sonoma County Toys for Tots donation drive. We were determined to make our 2017 Toys for Tots Toy Drive our biggest donation to the charity to date, not just because we love a good competition, but also because our community needs our support even more this year.
Because of the devastating Wine Country wildfires, 2017 is a very important holiday season for Sonoma County Toys for Tots (TTF). Last year, the charity provided toys to more than 9,300 children in the Sonoma region. TFT estimates that more than 2,000 children lost their homes and all their personal belongings in the wildfires, bringing the total children in special need of a little Christmas joy well above 11,000.
The John Jordan Foundation has long been recognized as the top donor to the Sonoma County Toys For Tots program each Christmas. No one individual or organization has contributed so many toys year after year, according to Jim Jones of the Toys for Tots Foundation. Our tradition of unselfish giving to the needy children of our communities is something we all look forward to, and we’re very proud of how all winery departments work together to support this worthy cause for children in need year after year. We’ve even pitted departments (and wine regions) against each other in years past to increase toy donations through friendly competition.
Keeping with our spirit of competition, John Jordan challenged the winery staff—us against him—to see who would donate the most toys by weight. He had one gondola sleigh; employees received a second one–and employees were encouraged to rally Jordan Estate Rewards members and colleagues to contribute to their sleigh. John also upped the ante by using proceeds from Christmas at Jordan event ticket sales to fund the Jordan Winery Toys for Tots donation drive.
The winner was announced at Jordan’s employee Christmas party on December 8. After the weigh-in of toy donations, John Jordan donated 856 pounds of toys, and the winery staff–along with Jordan Estate Rewards members and a group of wine bloggers–donated 900 pounds this year, making it one of our most successful Toys for Tots toy drives to date. Thank you for all you donated.
Please join us in supporting this needy cause each year by purchasing tickets to the Christmas at Jordan event in Healdsburg, donating Christmas gifts to your local Toys for Tots chapter or making a cash donation to Toys for Tots.