Hastings CASA opens toy store to help kids in difficult situations

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - When the basement is flooded, or the power is shut off, or a family member dies, it can be hard for kids to have a chance to just be kids. But CASA in Hastings is opening a special toy store to help.

“Lot of these kids have heartache or things in their life that aren't going so well and it's a time for them to be able to come in here and let go of the pain of life and what they're experiencing at the time and just be able to enjoy the excitement,” CASA Volunteer Cindy Gottsch said.

CASA provides a safe person and place for kids to talk and now to get toys to play with. Families can contact them or United Way to explain their situation.

Some kids may have lost all their toys in a disaster or may have had to flee a situation of abuse. Whatever it is, CASA wants to shine a little hope on their lives.

“I'll be honest with you, when we dropped off some of the toys for this one family, a sudden death of a parent, basically it was absolute tears of joy,” CASA Executive Director RuAnn Root said.

Volunteers said being able to play helps kids maintain good mental health and can help them get through their difficult situations.

“My goal for this toy store is for when the kids walk in that they have the same expression on their face that RuAnn and I have when we walk in,” Gottsch said. “We walk in here and it's like wow look at this, this is so cool.”

It may not be the first thing people think of in times of trouble, but kids will be grateful for the chance to just play.

If you are someone who needs assistance from CASA, you can contact them at 402-463-1030