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Reynoldsburg volunteers collect toys for children
Organizers of a local toy drive say more and more families are in need this year, and they fear fewer will be able to donate.
Reynoldsburg resident Mary Burcham and Lt. Mike Shirey of the Truro Township Fire Department are once again sponsoring a toy drive that gathers Christmas presents for local children.
“As the sponsors for this toy drive, we find that we are in need and are seeking donations from our community to assist us in ensuring that the children in Reynoldsburg will have presents to open on Christmas morning,” Burcham and Shirey said in a joint statement.
The toy drive, which is separate from the annual Toys-for-Tots drive sponsored by the Columbus area fire departments, specifically helps children who reside in or go to school in the Reynoldsburg City School District.
Burcham said she and Shirey have worked together since the early 1990s to ensure children have a happy holiday season.
“I started collecting coats and winter clothes for the needy children and it just grew from there,” Burcham said.
Gifts for all age groups are needed, she said, though organizers usually run a little short on toys for babies and boys, as well as items for teen boys and girls such as sports equipment and jewelry.
Also accepted are gift cards, which generally are given to older children, she said.
Burcham has set up an account specifically for this project called “Mary Burcham DBA Reynoldsburg Toys for Kids.” Monetary donations of any amount are accepted and receipts are provided.
“I use this money to purchase gift cards for older ones or to buy for ones that we do not get donations for,” she said.
To donate, bring unwrapped toys to the Truro Township fire station on East Main Street or Livingston Avenue any time, or to the City of Reynoldsburg Municipal Building between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All toys are then taken to the Livingston Avenue Station where each Reynoldsburg elementary school is invited to “shop” on a specific date. Representatives from each school gather toys for any children at their schools who are in need.
Burcham said she will distribute the rest of the toys to older children, children who are not in elementary school yet, or children who have not yet been added to their elementary school’s list of those in need.
Applications for families who wish to be added to the list of those who receive toys are available at the municipal building. A parent or guardian also may contact his or her child’s school guidance counselor. Specific guidelines must be met to take part in the program.
For more information, call (614) 322-6840 or (614) 204-6634.
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