Time to give toys, toys, toys!

Radio Shack, located at Dwyer’s Hardware in London, has once again donated over $1,000 worth of toys to the Holiday Helpers Firefighter Toy Drive. On hand for the donation were: (from left) Diana Frey of Madison County Job & Family Services, Lt. Mark Foster of the London Fire Department, Kathy Dabe of Job & Family, Drew Dwyer of Radio Shack/Dwyer’s, and Chrissy Boyd of Job & Family.

Toy collections are in full swing around Madison County. Find out how you can make Christmas brighter for needy families in your neighborhood.

Jefferson Township Fire Fighters and West Jefferson Community Association. The fire fighters are collecting toys for children up to high-school age who live in Jefferson Township and/or are enrolled in the Jefferson Local School District. New, unwrapped gifts or monetary donations made out to “Jefferson Township Fire Local 3029” may be dropped off at the station at 745 W. Main St., West Jefferson.

The public also can help by “adopting” families for which to buy gifts. Organizer Vickie Hockenbery will provide clothing sizes and toy wish lists. The Community Association also is accepting monetary donations to buy toys, as well as food and necessities for elderly individuals. Make checks out to “Community Association Adopt-A-Family” and mail them to Hockenbery’s attention at 555 Kirkwood Dr., West Jefferson, OH 43162.

On Dec. 6, Santa will arrive by fire truck at West Jefferson Hardware, 228 E. Main St. Children are invited to get their picture taken with Santa between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The cost is $2 per picture,  and all proceeds go to the toy drive. Children who don’t want their picture taken can still visit with Santa, bring a toy for the toy drive, or put a cash donation in the fireman’s boot inside the store.
West Jefferson area families in need may pick up applications to receive gifts at the fire station. For details, call 614-879-8101.

West Jefferson American Legion Auxiliary Unit 201. The Auxiliary is accepting the names of families in West Jefferson who need help for Christmas. Families will be selected by a committee.

Families can contact Donna Smith at 614-879-7758 or Barbara Saunders at 879-8474. The cut-off date is Dec. 12.

Christmas items will be available for pick-up on Dec. 19 at the Legion Hall, 9701 W. Broad St., West Jefferson.

The American Legion has been helping families at Christmas for 32 years. In recent years, Boy Scout Troop 122 has donated toys for the project.

Plain City Churches and Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District. Churches in Plain City have organized a Christmas food and gift basket drive. Participants can donate food, money or toys. Another way to help is to “adopt” a family and buy the toys to go with the food basket. Toys are being collected for children up to 16 years old.

Food and toy donations can be dropped off at any Plain City church, Jonathan Alder school, or the Plain City Food Bank until Dec. 17. Toys also can be dropped off at the Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District station during regular business hours. The station is located at 650 W. Main St., Plain City.

Monetary donations may be made out to “Christmas Basket Fund” and sent to Plain City Presbyterian Church, 231 E. Main St., Plain City, OH 43064.

Volunteers are needed to help at 9 a.m. Dec. 20 at the Presbyterian Church to pack and deliver baskets. For details, call Jim or Karon Kaufmann at 937-642-7252 or the fire station at 614-873-4067.

London Fire Department and Madison County Job & Family Services. The Holiday Helpers Firefighter Toy Drive provided gifts for 764 children last year. Toys are given to children through age 13; cash cards are given to children ages 14-18.

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 or Job & Family Services, 200 Midway St., London. Additionally, items can be dropped off at the toy collection warehouse, 306 Lafayette St. (near the Bureau of Motor Vehicles), from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 8-9 and from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 10. Organizers would like to have all donations by Dec. 10, though givers will not be turned away after that date.

Madison County families in need who want to receive gifts must sign up as soon as possible. The last possible date is Dec. 22. Applications are available at Job & Family Services. 

For details, call 740-852-4770.

Tri-County Joint Fire District in Mount Sterling. Drop off toys or money at the fire station, 7 W. Columbus St., Mount Sterling. Toys must be new and unwrapped. Families who need help may obtain applications at the police department at town hall, 2 S. London St. Applications must be submitted no later than Dec. 8. For details, call 740-869-2643.

Little Lambs Shopping and Party
Through Dec. 15, HELP House is collecting the following items: new and gently used toys for children and teens; new scarves, hats, gloves and mittens for children and teens; new socks and underwear, as well as new or gently used clothing for all sizes, including teens; wrapping paper and tape; batteries (mainly AA); and money.

The items will be organized so that parents in need can “shop” for their children for Christmas.

Donations can be dropped off at HELP House, 122 E. Center St., London, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays; 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, and 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays. Monetary dona-tions should be made out to “HELP House Community Outreach” and mailed to the aforementioned address.

Volunteers are needed: 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 6, 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 10, 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 13, and 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 17-18. For the Dec. 20 shopping day, at least 20 volunteers are needed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At “His Little Lambs” Christmas Party on Dec. 14, children will hear stories, watch videos and enjoy music that celebrates the birth of Jesus. The party will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 at HELP House, 122 E. Center St., London. Parents and guardians can sign up their children for the party at the same time they register for His Little Lambs Christmas Shopping.

Items needed for the party are small party bags filled with favors, preferably related to the birth of Jesus and/or candy or snacks. Volunteers are needed the day of the party to set up at 1 p.m., help with groups of five children during the party, and clean-up at 4 p.m.

For details, call 740-852-1980 or e-mail HELPHouse@hotmail.com.

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