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The 47th annual Lincoln County Toy Drive and 16th annual Lincoln County Coat Drive, both spearheaded by the Fayetteville Rotary Club, The Times and Fayetteville Fire Department, are getting underway.
In addition to organizers, South Central Human Resource Agency (SCHRA) assists with the coat drive and serves as the location where anyone in need of a coat can come. The agency is located at 1437 Winchester Highway in Fayetteville and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This week, The Times’ begins accepting applications for the toy drive, which benefits local underprivileged children up to the age of 12. The applications are available at The Times’ office located at 418 Elk Avenue North in Fayetteville. Office hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The drive is also accepting the donation of new toys, as well as monetary donations, 100-percent of which are used to purchase new toys for children benefiting from the annual campaign.
“Last year, the drive raised $18,327.65 and provided toys for 744 children from 348 Lincoln County families,” said Lucy Williams, a drive co-chair and editor and publisher of The Times. “The dollar amount may sound like a lot, but consider that we usually spend $25 per child – with 744 children like we had last year, that comes to $18,600 … We stretch donations as far as we can, then use toys that are donated to help fill-in the boxes some.
“Our primary objective is to see that the children in our county are not forgotten during this time of the year and at least receive something for Christmas. Without the kindness of all the individuals, churches, businesses and organizations that help us, we wouldn’t be able to even come close to helping so many.”
“One hundred percent of the funds raised go directly toward purchasing toys for the drive, and all the money stays here in Lincoln County, helping Lincoln County kids,” added Danny Travis, Fayetteville fire chief and another of the drive’s co-chairs. “We really appreciate the community’s support every year.”
Fayetteville firemen and Rotarians will also hit the street for a roadblock on Saturday, Dec. 7, for the benefit of the annual campaign.
In regard to monetary donations, checks should be made payable to the Lincoln County Toy Drive and sent in care of The Times, P.O. Box 9, Fayetteville, or given to any member of the Fayetteville Rotary Club or any Fayetteville firemen. Donations of new toys can also be taken by The Times at 418 North Elk Avenue, Sir’s Fabrics at 110 North Elk Avenue, or the Fayetteville Fire Department’s main fire hall at 300 West Market Street, as well as a host of other locations across Fayetteville and Lincoln County.
In coming weeks, The Times will begin listing all the drop-off locations for toys, as well as begin listing the contributions to the 2013 drive. If you wish to contribute but would like to remain anonymous, simply note that on your check.
“This drive is all about bringing some joy to children who might not otherwise receive toys for Christmas,” said Debbie Ragsdale, a Rotarian who is also involved in the campaign. “We want to reach families that are truly in need.”
Applications will be accepted through Dec. 6.
“A lot of times, people who most need help won’t ask for it,” Ragsdale added. “It’s these families, in particular, that we’d like to reach.”
Drive organizers are also seeking the donation of new or gently-used coats for the benefit of families in need.
Coats may be donated at The Times’ office or at Sir’s Fabrics – in particular need are children’s coats and plus-size coats, according to organizers. Additionally, quilts and blankets are also welcome and made available to anyone in need.
To get a coat, all you need to do is go to SCHRA at 1437 Winchester Highway, and you’ll be able to pick one out from those that have been given. The agency is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.