The City of Washington Court House and Main Street Fayette (MSF) have teamed up with “Toys for Tots” to spread joy this holiday season.
MSF is a self-funded, nonprofit organization that produces family-friendly entertainment, signature events, community celebrations and business promotions to attract people to downtown Washington Court House.
Marine Toys for Tots is a national program and has various campaigns that are broken down by counties in every state. The local Toys for Tots program has been in operation since 2010.
According to Mindi Wickensimer, the coordinator of the local Toys for Tots campaign, Fayette County Toys for Tots distributed 4,927 toys to 1,015 children last year. This was a 20 percent decrease in toys but a 45 percent increase in children served from prior years.
“These are children who otherwise might have gone without any recognition at all during the most significant season of the year. We know that such large numbers of toys, books and gifts are not purchased without the significant generosity of people like you. With the current challenges we are experiencing, I anticipate a greater need this year,” explained Wickensimer via email.
On Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28, the City Service Department truck will be parked outside of the Fayette County Court House to collect donations. Donations should be new, unwrapped, and can be for any and all ages.
“We are so excited about this Holiday toy drive, not only because we get to spread the holiday spirit to those in need, but because this specific toy drive stays here in local Fayette County,” explained MSF Marketing Director McKenna Brown via email. “You are not only donating a gift for just any child, but this specific child could be your neighbor, your child’s teammate, a child you pass at the store or someone in your child’s class at school.”
For other ways to donate, utilize drop boxes found throughout the county, call 740-600-3343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If making a donation by check, they are to be made out to Toys for Tots and mailed to Wickensimer at 636 Willabar Drive, Washington Court House, Ohio 43160.
“I am asking you to consider a donation to our local program so we can continue to make a difference in the lives of our local needy children,” wrote Wickensimer. “We have drop boxes throughout Fayette County, but the boxes alone do not provide enough toys to service all the children we can. We will be happy to meet with you to discuss the Toys for Tots program in greater detail, and how you can help.”
Registration to utilize Fayette County Toys for Tots this holiday season is currently ongoing. The deadline to register is Dec. 1.
Register at Second Chance Center Of Hope, 420 W. Oakland Ave. in Washington C.H., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those with questions regarding registration can contact Wickensimer at 740-600-3343.
In order to register, the child(ren) must reside in the home full-time, and be under age 18 (or 18 if there are younger children in the home, or have a developmental disability that has been approved by the coordinator). If custody has been granted through the courts, documents verifying the placement must be brought during registration.
Other items needed during registration include a photo I.D of the applicant (such as a driver’s license, a state ID or passport), a document verifying address (such as a utility bill, lease, phone bill, piece of mail with the applicant’s name on it from within the last 60 days), proof of income (such as a pay stub, SSI notice, unemployment notice, etc.), birth certificates for all children, and finally Medicaid, Caresource, Molina or Amerigroup Cards if received.
“We want to encourage everyone to come to downtown Washington Court House. Feel the Christmas spirit as you walk the downtown streets, stop in at the local shops who will be running amazing ‘Black Friday’ sales all weekend, and drop off a gift for this great charitable cause,” wrote Brown. “The City of Washington Court House and Main Street Fayette wish you all a safe and happy Holidays!”
“I hope you have wonderful Christmas season with your family & friends and can help those less fortunate,” wrote Wickensimer. “Be a hero, support Toys for Tots, because every child deserves a little Christmas.”
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.