Tribune-Courier News Editor
The Marshall County Rotary Club and Salvation Army have partnered for an annual toy drive benefitting needy children within the county.
“This is a county-wide project and something we do every year,” said Cindy Riley, Rotary Club Toy Drive coordinator.
“We had a great, great, great response last year, and need an even bigger one this year. Last year we helped 208 children, and expect even more requests this year.”
The deadline to apply for assistance is Friday. All applicants must be enrolled in Marshall County schools and not receiving other assistance from the Marshall County Schools resource centers. Income is the primary consideration. Riley said family income is a consideration for each beneficiary. She added the toy drive considers requests from all ages.
“We’ll buy each child three pairs of pants, three shirts, underclothing, shoes and socks,” Riley said. “We use the rest to get toys and games and try to get several items from their gift list.”
With specific requests, Riley said Rotary clubs use volunteer shoppers to buy for individual children. Volunteers will provide children with three to five age-appropriate toys. Lists can be obtained at Benton’s Walmart location. On Dec. 14, families will arrive at Benton’s Woodman of the World office to collect gifts. Any donated toys should be new and unwrapped. Any unclaimed toys will be donated to Marshall County Caring Needline.
“This year, U.S. Bank is helping us with a shoe drive,” Riley said. “Last year, we discovered it was a big need because we bought out about every pair of shoes in Marshall County.”
Rotary raises money for the toy drive with its annual auction and from private contributions. Through the year, it may use some of this money to buy needy children new clothes when they outgrow their existing wardrobe. The club will also dip into this account to replace clothing destroyed in a fire.
This year, the club is swamped with Christmas requests. Riley said she received about 30 just last Wednesday.
Drop-off sites include Lake Chem Credit Union which offers the incentive of entrance to a raffle for Little Big Town tickets in Murray for anyone who drops off a toy. Heritage Bank in Benton will also be collecting toys. CFSB is a drop-off location. Air Products will conduct a toy drive through Nov. 30. Salvation Army Angel Trees at Benton Walmart. If taking an angel, please take purchased toys to WCBL or WCCK radio or Kim Ham CPA by Dec. 6. The Salvation Army will host a Stuff the Truck at Walmart on Dec. 8. All proceeds go to Toys for Kids. Regions Bank is sponsoring a Spirit of Giving Toy Drive.
For more information on donation of toys or cash, volunteering or suggesting a family for the program, contact Riley at WCCK Radio at 270-395-5133 or Robert Ham at 270-703-2284.