Gearing up for Christmas

(Posted Oct. 21, 2019)

Toy drive applications
It is time again to fill out applications for the Tri-County Joint Firefighters Toy Drive. Families in need who wish to receive toys for Christmas must fill out an application and provide identification and proof of residence, such as an electric bill or phone bill. Applicants must reside in the Tri-County Joint Fire District.

The application period runs Nov. 1-Dec. 6. Forms can be picked up between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at the fire house, 7 W. Columbus St., Mount Sterling.

The firefighters are accepting donations of toys and money through Dec. 6. The toy drive benefits children ages 0-12 years old.

For details, call the fire house at (740) 869-2643.

Shoebox gifts
Two locations in Madison County are serving as drop-off sites for shoebox gifts for children overseas during Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 18-25.

Families, churches and groups are invited to donate toys, school supplies and hygiene items to fill shoeboxes. The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with churches across the globe to deliver the shoeboxes to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

The local drop-off sites and hours are:
• Darby Grace Brethren Church, 11672 Lafayette Plain City Rd., Plain City
Nov. 18: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Nov. 19: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Nov. 20: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Nov. 21: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Nov. 22: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Nov. 23: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Nov. 24: 1-4 p.m.
Nov. 25: 8-10:30 a.m.

• Faith Assembly Worship Center, 2600 U.S. Rte. 40 NE, London
Nov. 18: 10 a.m.-Noon
Nov. 19: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Nov. 20: 5-7 p.m.
Nov. 21: 3-5 p.m.
Nov. 22: 10 a.m.-Noon
Nov. 23: 10 a.m.-Noon
Nov. 24: 4-6 p.m.
Nov. 25: 8:30-10:30 a.m.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (937) 374-0761, or visit Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box’ and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer online shopping can browse to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Christmas in the Park donations
Organizers for West Jefferson’s Christmas in the Park are gearing up for their 24th year of festivities at Garrette Park. This year’s celebration takes place Dec. 13-15. Santa will flip the switch on the park’s 400,000 lights at 6 p.m. Dec. 13. The weekend includes carriage rides, live music, a lighted parade, visits with Santa, a toy giveaway, food and more.

Financial donations are needed to help put on the event. Costs include $1,800 for carriage rides, $1,200 for electricity, $100 for craft supplies, $500 for food, $1,000 for photography supplies, and $175 for lighting contest prizes. Other expenses include repairs, lights and tents.

Monetary donations may be made payable to “West Jefferson Christmas in the Park” and mailed to: P.O. Box 292, West Jefferson, OH 43162.

Organizers also are seeking donations of new toys for the toy giveaway, which is for families with children up to age 12 years old. As many as 100 children attend the giveaway.

Additionally, volunteers are needed to put up lights and displays, serve food, bake cookies, and organize signups for carriage rides and pictures with Santa.

For details, contact Sheri Chaffin at or (614) 477-7849.

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