Help needed for toys this season
by Mark Ledbetter
CHILDERSBURG — For the past 30 years Santa has found Childersburg Toys for Children to be great helpers. Last year the toy drive provided toys for 278 children in the Childersburg area.

Childersburg resident Janie Green said 30 years ago she saw a need and started by writing names on a piece of paper. Today Green and Childersburg Fire Department Chief Douglas Blair are the only two original members of the drive. Recently they sent a letter to supporters informing them about this year’s drive.

Parents that want their child or children to be considered can pick up an application from Childersburg City Hall Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The two page application must be completed and returned to City Hall by Nov. 21.

Applicants must be prepared to reveal how many are living at home, how many are children, the names of the children and where they attend school, and a detailed financial statement indicating all sources of income. Two personal references must be provided.

Proof of residence and a copy of parents’ driver’s license along with each child’s Medicaid card (or social security card) and birth certificate must be presented.

Children must live either in the Childersburg or Fayetteville school district to be eligible and must be no younger than 12 months and no older than 11 years of age. There is an exception for children with disabilities.

Toys will be distributed Dec. 15 at the Old National Guard Armory across from Watwood School from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. No toys will be distributed after Dec 15.

Green wrote in the supporters’ letter, “If you, like us, are big children at heart, then please purchase toys for us, the only requirement is that you have fun while shopping for them.”

Sponsors can enjoy a personal connection by stopping by Pam’s Hair Haven or Rainwater Library in Childersburg and seeing the Angel Tree and obtain the name of a child and their Christmas Wish List.

Popular items on some of the lists include technical toys by Fisher Price, V-tech, Leapfrog, Play Skool while wish lists also include traditional favorites such as dolls, blocks, and bicycles.

If a donor prefers or doesn’t have the time to shop he or she can make a donation. Green’s sponsor letter reveals donations allow the purchase of more toys and more can be spent on each child.

“There is no government funding,” Green said. “It has always been community funded.”

“This year we didn’t have start-up money,” Green said, “so we’re taking as it comes.”

Blair said it is hard to start up the program without money, “But we don’t want any kids going without Christmas.”

Blair said Coosa Pines Credit Union has already made a donation and said plans to raise funds includes raffling a rifle. “We appreciate everyone that makes a donation, but we need them now,” Blair said.

Priority will be given first to lowest income, how many family members live at home, and how much money they bring home.

Some people adopt a whole family while some anonymously request certain kids.

Green said the past few years she has received an increase in requests, mostly from single parents that are barely making ends meet.

“It’s not that they aren’t trying,” Green said, “but they are working for minimum wage and have nothing left.”

Pam Storey owner of Pat’s Hair Haven said she has participated in the drive for the past four years. “I just want to be able to help the community more,” Storey said.

Toy purchases can be dropped off at the Childersburg Fire Department, Pam’s Hair Haven, Rainwater Library, and Tuesday and Friday nights at the Elk’s Club.

Contact Mark Ledbetter at mledbetter@dailyhome.com

© 2012