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Posted on Sun, Oct 28, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.

Ypsilanti KeyBank building owner donates office space to Washtenaw County Toys for Tots

By Katrease Stafford

A bit of early holiday cheer has been spread in Ypsilanti after the owner of the downtown KeyBank Building donated space to Toys for Tots to house toys for local needy families.


Sergent Ellis Agee Jr. of the U. S. Marine Corps (left) talks with Kai Hoffman as they stand next to $400 of toys that she donated to the Toys for Tots program at Dunning Toyota in Ann Arbor on Dec. 15, 2008.

File photo

Realtor Ed Berch said the owner of the building, Bancsites Incorporated, decided to donate the 2,500 square feet of space on the fourth floor after Toys for Tots approached Berch, who manages the building. Toys for Tots will utilize the space from Nov. 1 to the end of January.

The space was listed for $16.50 per square foot and Berch said by waiving the rent, the organization will realize a savings of about $10,310.

"It's an in-kind gesture that we don't mind helping," Berch said. "It's very centrally located, which is nice, and that's part of the reason they thought this would be a nice fit."

The organization was previously housed at the old Hope Clinic location on Arnet but when the building changed ownership, Toys for Tots had to find a new place.

Washtenaw County Toys For Tots Coordinator Artelia Reeves said the space is exactly what the organization needs. She said she plans to also use the office to interview families who need toys for their children.

"It's been a humbling experience for me and I just want to be able to run a successful campaign and I want to make sure the children in the Washtenaw County area don't have to pick between putting food on the table or putting toys under the trees."

Reeves said she has a handful of volunteers already but she's looking for more to help out at the office.

"We don't turn anyone away," she said. "Any group of people that want to come in, I will sit down and talk to them."

The organization serviced more than 600 families last year and gave thousands of toys to local families, Reeves said.

"It's about filling the needs of children that don’t have," Reeves said. "That’s why it's so important for kids whose parents are struggling because they will remember someone was nice to me and maybe it will change some of these children’s lives. Maybe they will grow up and be productive citizens and say, 'let me give me back.' "

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 1:09 a.m.

Thank you Ypsilanti Keybank. Have a good Christmas yourself.


Sun, Oct 28, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Thanks to Bancsites Incorporated for supporting this very worthy cause and doing their part to help many more enjoy Christmas this year.