TORONTO - The annual Toys 4 Toronto distribution, which helps provide children with presents under the tree Christmas morning, will be held on Dec. 14 at the American Legion Post 86, 415 Market St.
Those organizing the drive to solicit donations of toys to be given to underprivileged children are in the process of collecting new and gently used toys, according to Lu Ellyn Dallas, organizer.
"Toys may be brought to the collection bins at Dollar General store on Fourth Street, Rite Aid pharmacy and Riesbeck's grocery store on the Franklin Street Extension," said Dallas.
"Many businesses, clubs and churches have come forward to offer help and to collect toys for this project," Dallas continued. "The American Legion has been the biggest supporter of Toys 4 Toronto, not only in monetary donations but in the storage of toys and use of their hall for distribution. More community businesses need to help with this growing project. Last year we saw to it that 230 children had a wonderful Christmas. This year we already have 176 children signed up with many more to come in after Thanksgiving. I can say that the amount needed will easily double this year as the needs of the community continue to grow."
Times are scheduled by volunteers to give the toys to the families, according to Dallas. Names of families come from the Toronto Unit of the Salvation Army, the American Legion and Toronto City Schools, she added.
"Families must live in the Toronto School District to receive toys," Dallas said. "Ages range from newborns to age 13."
Most of the paper work is done at Riverview United Methodist Church by Dallas, and "letters are sent to businesses, union organizations, clubs and churches," she said, adding volunteers are welcome.
Dallas said the organization is trying to make Christmas brighter for Toronto-area children.
"It is such an experience to work one on one with the families and see how grateful they are," she said. "Without Toys 4 Toronto, many kids would not get anything for Christmas. It takes a community in prayer to do the best with what God has given us." Dallas said other city churches and organizations could raise funds and donate to the program. Donations in the form of checks should be made to Toys 4 Toronto, the Toronto Riverview UMC, P.O. Box 348, Toronto, OH 43964.
For information, call (740) 537-2210.