One Columbia County civic club is hoping its toy drive will make Christmas special for some children.
"Kids are kids everywhere, and everyone has a right to at least one thing for Christmas," said Denny Turner, the third vice president of the Evans Lions Club. "We're just real excited about wanting to do this for the kids."
Turner said the club's toy drive, which continues through Monday, benefits the national Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
Jeffrey Winder, local Toys for Tots coordinator, said the toys are distributed through the United Way and Salvation Army.
Turner, a former pediatric nurse, said she and her club members have a soft spot for children and had no goal for the drive other than to collect lots of toys.
"As many as we can possibly get, so as many children as possible can get at least one toy for Christmas," Turner said. "This is your opportunity to make some child's Christmas just a little brighter."
Donation boxes are located in several Columbia County businesses, including Stevens Creek Commons Apartments, Wesley United Methodist Church, Queensborough National Bank & Trust locations and Shannon's Food and Spirits.
Those wanting to give toys, money, clothing, furniture or other household items to families in Columbia County can donate to the Columbia County Foundation for Children.
Donna Lee, the foundation's executive director, said her agency provided toys for 469 children in the county last year.
"We only help them in Columbia County," Lee said.
Children are chosen to receive toys through applications submitted to the foundation by school counselors.
The foundation also operates an Appling resource center, where household items, clothing, toys and toiletries are sold to benefit the foundation. Families in crisis, such as those who have lost their homes to fires, are often allowed to shop at the foundation for free, Lee said.
The foundation will accept clothing, toys, toiletries, appliances, furniture and household items, in addition to money used to support the Christmas program or the foundation operations.
"There's not anything we wouldn't take," Lee said.
For more information or to make a donation, call the foundation resource center at (706) 541-2849 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. Donations can be dropped off at the resource center, 6347 Columbia Road, in front of Columbia County Animal Care and Control.
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