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Donations needed for 2017 Toys For Tots drive

November 5, 2017, 1:05 p.m.

HOMETOWN HEADLINES

More than 300 Toys for Tots collection boxes have been distributed through Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties this past week as the annual campaign to collect new, unwrapped toys for local needy children for Christmas kicks into high-gear. You can find boxes just about anywhere in town from local retailers, banks, schools, hospitals and businesses.

“The boxes all went out this week and we’ll be collecting toys the first week of December,” says Linda Hatcher, coordinator of the Greater Rome Toys for Tots. “We also have jars out around town for monetary donations. Any business can request a box or jar for donations and we’ll get it out this week.”

You can request a box online at www.toysfortots.org and select Georgia and then select Floyd, Polk or Chattooga county. You can also call 706-844-4562 or email rometoys@gmail.com.

Last year, some 2,500 local children, about 850 families, in Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties were helped through the program. Hatcher anticipates helping that same amount or more this year.

Families needing assistance will need to sign-up this week, Nov. 6-10, from 1-5 p.m. at Good Neighbor Ministries, 208 East 2nd St. A photo ID, proof of residence and proof of Social Security Card (at least the last 4-digits) for both parents and children are required to participate. Spanish interpreters will be available.

“Right now, we have about four warehouses full of toys that will all be moving over to the (Coosa Valley) Fairgrounds in the next two weeks,” says Hatcher. “But we still need donations of new, unwrapped toys for ages newborn to 12 years old. Every penny donated, every toy donated stays here locally to help children in Floyd, Polk and Chattooga.”

Volunteers are also needed to help sort toys. There will be a volunteer training on Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Fairgrounds. Toys will be sorted Dec. 1-15 from 9 am. to 12 p.m. daily and volunteers can be easily trained in a few minutes to help.

“We’ve had a lot of great community support with donations from the airshow. We will be collecting at the Veterans Day Event at the Fairgrounds on Nov. 11 and the Freedom Seekers Motorcycle Ride is coming up on Nov. 18. We also have some competitions among schools this year for toy donations,” says Hatcher.

Toy distribution will be Dec. 16 at the Fairground with the help of the Jr. ROTC from Rome High. This is the 70th year the U.S. Marine Corp. has conducted the national Toys for Toys program. The Greater Rome Toys for Tots program is organized through The Exchange Club of Rome and the U.S. Marine Corp. League.