All you need to know about area toy drives

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick The Jefferson Township Fire Department is collecting toys for children in West Jefferson. Displaying early donations are: (from left) firefighters Bobby Hogan, Mike Cogdill, Bryan Daley and Clark Smith.
Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
The Jefferson Township Fire Department is collecting toys for children in West Jefferson. Displaying early donations are: (from left) firefighters Bobby Hogan, Mike Cogdill, Bryan Daley and Clark Smith.

(Posted Dec. 2, 2015)

Several groups in and around Madison County are holding Christmas toy drives to benefit children and families who are less fortunate.

West Jefferson Adopt-a-Family and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7005. The West Jefferson Community Association Adopt-a-Family and VFW are collecting toys for children up to high school age who live in West Jefferson and/or are enrolled in the Jefferson Local School District. New unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at the VFW Post at 1 Veterans Way or call Vickie Edwards at (614) 582-1328 to make other drop-off arrangements.

Another way the public can help is by “adopting” families for which to buy gifts. Tags that list the clothing sizes and toy wishes of area children decorate trees at West Jefferson Hardware, Huntington Bank, and the VFW. Participants take a tag and fulfill the wishes listed on it, then return the gifts to the hardware store, bank or VFW by the date listed on the tag. Donors also may call Edwards for that information.

The Community Association also is accepting monetary donations to buy toys. Make checks out to “Community Association Adopt-a-Family” and mail them to Edwards’ attention at 193 S. Chester St., West Jefferson OH 43162.

West Jefferson area families in need can pick up applications at Norwood Elementary School. Completed applications are due back at the school by Dec. 4. Applications will be cross-checked with other non-profit organizations and Madison County Job and Family Services to prevent duplication.

Tri-County Joint Fire District in Mount Sterling. It is time to fill out applications for the Tri-County Joint Fire District Firefighters Toy Drive. Individuals who fill out applications must provide proof of residence by a utility bill (electric, gas or water bill). The applicant must reside in the Tri-County Joint Fire District. The application deadline is Dec. 11. Forms can be picked up between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the fire house, 7 W. Columbus St., Mount Sterling. Ages eligible to receive toys are newborn to 12 years old. New toys and monetary donations will be accepted through Dec. 11. For details, call the fire house at (740) 869-2643.

Plain City Churches. The Plain City Church Fellowship is holdings its annual Christmas Basket project. In 2014, baskets and gifts were distributed to 192 families which included over 900 individuals, approximately 500 of whom were children.

Food can also be donated through local churches, at any Jonathan Alder school or at the Plain City Food Bank. Monetary donations are also welcome and may be given to local churches or to the “Christmas Basket Fund” and sent to Plain City Presbyterian Church, 231 E. Main St., Plain City, OH 43064.

Another way to participate in the mission is to adopt a family and buy the Christmas presents that go with their food basket. Families may be “adopted” through local churches or by calling the Presbyterian Church or McCray. Guidelines are provided for purchasing gifts for appropriate age levels.

Volunteers are needed to help to pack and deliver baskets at 9 a.m. Dec. 19 at Plain City Presbyterian.

For more information, contact a local church or Jim Kaufman, food drive chairman, at (937) 642-7252.

London Fire Department and Madison County Job & Family Services. The Holiday Helpers Fire-fighter Toy Drive provided gifts to over 750 children last year. Toys are given to children through age 13.

The public can get involved one of two ways, either by adopting a family and purchasing gifts specifically for those children, or by donating toys or money without adopting a particular family. Holiday Helpers supplies adopters with first names, ages and wish lists of the children. Participants then spend no more than $50 per child and purchase no more than three gifts per child.

Donations can be dropped off at the London Fire Department, 103 E. High St., or Job & Family Services, 200 Midway St., London. Additionally, items can be dropped off at the toy collection warehouse, 60 S. Walnut St. (in the former primary school building) from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 14-16.

Madison County families in need who want to receive gifts must sign up by Dec. 14. Applications are available at Job & Family Services, 200 Midway St., London.

For all details, call (740) 852-4770.

Jefferson Township Fire Department. The fire fighters are collecting toys for underprivileged children ages newborn to 12 years old who live in the West Jefferson area. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at collection sites in West Jefferson, including the fire station and the schools. The fire station also is accepting gift cards in any denomination as gifts for the older children.

Additionally, monetary donations can be made out to “Firefighters Toy Drive” and sent to the Jefferson Township Fire Department, 745 W. Main St., West Jefferson OH 43162.

Families in need who want to sign up to receive gifts can pick up applications at the fire station. Completed applications are due by Dec. 5.

The student councils at West Jefferson high school, middle school and elementary will help the fire fighters shop, assemble toys and distribute toys.

For details, contact: the fire station, (614) 879-8265; Rick Cook, or (614) 296-3510; Jen Miller at the high school, (614) 879-7681; or Paula Nance at the middle school, 879-8345.

HELP House, 122 E. Center St., London, will host their annual His Little Lambs Shopping Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 19. Parents and guardians are able to choose gifts for their children. That way, when the children open their gifts on Christmas morning, the presents are from the parents, not from a charity. The goal is to have one new gift and three or four used gifts per registered child. Organizers estimate they will serve 500 children this year.

Donated gifts are due by Dec. 14. The focus is on children ages 0 to 13. (Gifts will be given to children 14 and older if available.) Needed items are: unwrapped gifts for all ages, unwrapped toys and games, new or gently used clothing, new underwear, new socks, wrapping paper, tape, bows and batteries (all sizes, but especially AA).

Volunteers are needed to help clean and repair donated toys (Elf Nights), as well as set up and run the shopping day event. Individuals or groups are welcome to help any portion of the following times:

• Dec. 9, noon-2 p.m., set up for Elf Nights

• Dec. 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—clean toys.

• Dec. 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—clean toys.

• Dec. 16, noon-2 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.—Set up tables and stations;

• Dec. 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—set-up;

• Dec. 19, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Help with the actual shopping day and clean-up.

To register a time to volunteer, contact Chandra Kelly at (614) 202-1741 or


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