By Christine Bryant
The Truro Township Fire Department will once again sponsor a toy drive for local children, ensuring kids in need have a gift to open Christmas morning.
The Truro Toys for Kids drive, which is a separate collection from the annual Toys-For-Tots drive sponsored by the Columbus area fire departments, specifically serves children of all ages who reside in, or attend, the Reynoldsburg City School District.
The program has served kids for about 25 years, said Project Administrator Mary Burcham, who originally started collecting coats and warm clothing for needy kids when her oldest son started attending school at Herbert Mills.
“It grew to collecting toys a few years later when I connected with the Truro Township Fire Department, and continues to grow every year,” she said.
Last year, the group assisted 193 kids from 60 families.
“In addition to that, each elementary in Reynoldsburg is invited to come and shop for their students in need,” Burcham said. “So in total, we probably help well over 400 kids each year.”
Any new and unwrapped toys are collected, in addition to gift cards and cash.
“I use the money to buy gift cards for the older kids who have grown out of the toy stage,” she said. “Last year, 99 gift cards were purchased for the older kids.”
Burcham and the Truro Township Fire Department have the help of employees at TS Tech USA on East Broad Street, who for the past three years, have collected and donated toys.
“We are very grateful for their help,” she said.
Donors can drop off toys, gift cards and cash at either Truro fire station, 6900 E. Main St. or 6305 E. Livingston Ave.
For families in need, applications for assistance, along with criteria for eligibility, is available at the stations. Applications will be collected from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 only at the Main Street station. Burcham will contact approved applicants with a date and time for toy pick-up, she said.
For information, call (614) 204-6634 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.