Despite the recent economic climate, people donated more than 1,000 toys to the Reynoldsburg Toys for Kids program this year.

Despite the recent economic climate, people donated more than 1,000 toys to the Reynoldsburg Toys for Kids program this year.

City administrative assistant and Reynoldsburg Board of Education member Mary Burcham said a little more than 500 requests came in for toys this year, all to be given away before Christmas Day.

The program began in 1990. This year's toy drive was coordinated by Burcham and Truro Township Fire Lt. Mike Shirey.

The toys collected were given to children determined to be in families that were at or below the poverty level. However, Burcham said no request was turned down.

She said any kind of toy was accepted because organizers wanted to make sure every child has a present to open on Christmas.

In addition to toys, other donated gifts included gloves, hats, mittens, scarves, and gift certificates, she said.

Burcham said a variety of items was collected this year for both boys and girls, including Barbie dolls, board games, bicycles, stuffed animals, action figures and toy cars and trucks.

The donated items were collected over the past three weeks at both Truro Township fire stations and at the City Building. All were individually wrapped before being given away.

Burcham said the employees at City Hall volunteer their time to wrap the toys, something they all look forward to each year.

"It's one of the highlights of the year to wrap the presents for those kids," city attorney Jed Hood said. "It's a good feeling to do it."

Burcham said coordinating the program is one of her passions because she believes all kids should have a fighting chance.

"I think this is important that everybody's spirits are lifted at least once a year, it just makes everybody's heart grow," she said.

dowen@thisweeknews.com