Truro Township firefighters are ready to play Santa Claus again this year through the Reynoldsburg Toys for Kids project to make sure children in need have toys to open on Christmas morning.
Mary Burcham, volunteer coordinator, said the Truro Township Fire Department toy drive is separate from the annual Toys for Tots drive conducted by Columbus-area fire departments.
"Our drive is aimed specifically at children of all ages that reside in or attend school in the Reynoldsburg school district," she said.
New or slightly used toys may be dropped off at either fire station, 6900 E. Main St. or 6305 E. Livingston Ave.
Monetary donations also are accepted and will be used to purchase gift cards for older children who may have grown out of the toy stage, Burcham said. Check donations should be made out to Reynoldsburg Toys for Kids and dropped off or mailed to the fire stations.
"Times are very hard and there are more and more families in need," she said. "Last year's donations were down significantly from previous years. We are certain that this is due to the economy, but are hopeful that our community will come through for our kids as they have always done in the past."
Burcham said families in need of assistance may pick up applications at either of the fire stations.
Applications can be turned in between 4 and 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at the East Main Street fire station. Burcham will contact families with dates and times for picking up toys after the applications are approved.
She said a local business TS Tech Americas Inc. is joining the effort again this year.
"Last year, their employees donated over 300 toys and food items," she said.
Burcham said people also can donate food items for gift baskets.
For more information, call Burcham at 614-204-6634 or email her at marybsdfs@ yahoo.com.
Burcham has been the volunteer coordinator for the toy drive for the past 24 years.
"I love it because it brings everyone together for a good cause," she said. "Our tears well up when we think about how many people we can help.
"We worry each year that we won't have enough, but the people of Reynoldsburg always come through for us.
"Last year, we were able to collect toys for well over 500 kids," she said.