TORONTO - The Toys for Toronto organization reported this year's collection and donation of new or gently used toys to underprivileged children was a success, with more than 150 families receiving toys for Christmas through the program.
The toys and funds were donated by the community, and stored at the Toronto American Legion Post 86, according to Lu Ellyn Dallas, program coordinator. Volunteers helped sort the toys according to age and gender, she added.
"This year the numbers were many, but the toys kept coming in," said Dallas. "The number of families we helped this year was double last year's (number).
"Toys were chosen for each child, and that included stocking stuffers, wrapping paper and even batteries," Dallas continued. "To see the smiles on the faces of parents that had no hope of giving their children a Christmas present was priceless. Times are tough in the Ohio Valley, and if we can do anything to make it better, we should all do our part."
Dallas said the need was great, and "It was evident many children would not be getting much under the tree on Christmas Day. In fact, many have no trees."
Dallas said two, 6-foot Christmas trees were donated by the Sons of the American Legion.
"Many bicycles were given away, as well as gifts of special interest," Dallas continued. "Families could sign up for the items, and names were drawn at the end of the day. Families were notified and came to pick up the (gifts)."
Dallas said Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla also donated several toys, including bicycles. The remaining toys left over after the distribution were packed and stored for next year's collection, Dallas added.
"It was a job well done for the community and the volunteers that helped in any way," Dallas said, adding she was grateful for the assistance.
(Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)