Toys for Tots, the annual drive that makes a merrier Christmas for many Haralson County families, gets underway officially on Tuesday, even though volunteers have long been at work, according to local chairman and organizer Curtis Eidson of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
“Everyone is invited to join us for the official kickoff from 5 to 9 p.m. next Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Pioneer Ford in Bremen for free food, children’s games and the drawing for a PlayStation 3,” said Eidson. “And the price of admission is to bring a new toy that has not been wrapped.”
He said that tickets for a chance to win the PlayStation 3 are now on sale at toy collection points all over the county for $5 each or 5 for $20, with all proceeds benefiting Toys for Tots. You do not have to be present to win, said Eidson.
“If families need help, parents should contact their child’s school to fill out an Application for Assistance,” said Eidson, stressing that “There is a place on the application for special needs children, or those with special circumstances.
“Parents of pre-school, home schooled and other children not enrolled in Haralson County schools, should contact Tallapoosa City Hall, Bremen Police Department, Bremen First Baptist Church, Buchanan Police Department or the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) in Buchanan.”
In conjunction with Toys for Tots, Mt. Holly Church on US Highway 27 south of Bremen, will hold “Feed the Hungry” on Nov. 4, beginning at 9 a.m., said Eidson. Some 2,000 people from Haralson, Carroll and Cleburne Counties will be fed. Toys, monetary donations, and assistance applications will be accepted, as well.
The Bremen Walmart, a key Toys for Tots partner, will host a series of toy collection events from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 17, 21, 23 and 24, hosted by school bus drives, Covenant Life Church of God, Salem Baptist, Bremen First Baptist and Mt. Holly churches.
“Toys were distributed to 1,921 youngsters in 914 families last year in Haralson County,” said Eidson, a USMCR retiree.
Eidson gave credit to his wife, Brenda, school officials Lori Robinson, Robin Landers and Cyndie Morris, toy and monetary donors, volunteer workers and participating institutions for last year’s success.
“The number of children served has increased every year because of our dedicated Toys for Tots team, but the need continues to rise each year due to out-of-work parents or other difficult situations.”
Toys for Tots is the largest toy distribution movement in America, which for 65 years has given out hundreds of millions of toys annually to needy families all over the Unites States, according to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve website.
Their are numerous locations where toy donations may be dropped off:
Haralson County Commissioner’s office, Raje Beauty Salon, Dollar General, Buchanan Police Department, Buchanan Elementary and Primary Schools, Gwen’s Family Restaurant, Community & Southern Bank, MCL Corp., New Vision Church, DFCS, Haralson Co. Health Department and O’Neil Dodge & Jeep
First Baptist, First United Methodist, Cross Pointe Christian and Mt. Holly Churches and Covenant Life Church of God, Alliance Insurance, Pioneer ford, Bremen High and Middle Schools and Bremen Academy, Fortress Storage, Berry Plastics, Southern Hose, Tom’s Cleaners, Walgreen’s, Clayton Pharmacy, Dollar General, Goody’s, Verizon Wireless, City Hall, Diamond Crystal Plant, The Lion Golf Course, Community & Southern Bank and Certus Bank
Wallace Feed & Pet Supplies and Alpine Gas
City Hall, First United Methodist and Steadman Baptist Churches, West Haralson Elementary and Tallapoosa Middle Schools, Tanner Healthcare, Community & Southern Bank, Dollar General, River City Propane, Tally Valley Golf Course, Papou’s Pizza, Haralson County School Board, Ridley Brothers Feed & Seed, One Stop and Git & Go
Waco Baptist and Waco Methodist Churches and City Hall
New Georgia Community, Paulding County
The Frog Golf Course