Patrick J's drop site for St. Stephen's toy drive
Community house program helps 3,000-plus families during holidays
Patrick J's is now an official drop-off site for the Christmas Care/One New Toy program benefitting the St. Stephen's Community House.
The Clintonville tavern, 2711 N. High St., is accepting new, unwrapped gifts for children up to 14 years old.
"We're going to take as many as we can possibly get right up to Christmas to help St. Stephen's," said John Raphael, who owns Patrick J's. "I hope we get a lot."
Raphael said he has a long history with St. Stephen's.
In the 1980s, Raphael was an aide to the late Columbus City Councilman John Maloney, the former executive director of the community house who started the toy drive.
"This isn't about Patrick J's as much as it is about St. Stephen's," he said.
Charlene Greene, volunteer coordinator for St. Stephen's, said the settlement serves 3,000 families during the holiday season by providing meals, toys or gift cards and clothing.
Donations will be given to registered families Dec. 15 and 16. After that, people who did not register will be given an opportunity to receive gifts and food for the holidays, Greene said.
Other local organizations also contribute to the effort, co-sponsored by the Central Ohio Labor Council.
For example, St. Francis DeSales High School brought three busloads of canned goods last year.
A community group called Team Mitchell in Powell donated a van full of toys this year and last year.
People can also take their donations directly to St. Stephen's, 1500 E. 17th Ave., about a mile east of Interstate 71.
In recent years, the community house has run out of food and toys and had to buy more, Greene said.
"It just says the need is great," she said.