About 50 bright red drop-boxes placed at retail establishments and other locations throughout the Pickerington area serve notice that there are area children in need who could use some holiday cheer this season.

About 50 bright red drop-boxes placed at retail establishments and other locations throughout the Pickerington area serve notice that there are area children in need who could use some holiday cheer this season.

Once again the Violet Township Fire Department is teaming up with Violet Fire IAAF Local 3558 and the Pickerington Local School District's counseling office to assist area families by distributing new, unwrapped toys, gift cards and monetary donations.

In addition to the red boxes, all three Violet Township Fire stations will be accepting donations right up through Dec. 23.

The locations are: Station 591, 21 Lockville Road, Pickerington; Station 592, 8700 Refugee Road, Pickerington; and Station 593, 2365 Taylor Park Drive, Reynoldsburg.

"It's a great thing for us to be involved in," said Mike Little, Violet Township fire chief.

"There is a big community service aspect to it," he said.

"It's a huge toy drive and it gets bigger every year."

He credited Violet Township Firefighters Jim Barber and Liz Pfeifer-Smith with coordinating the event.

"There are a lot of opportunities for people to help us out and each year the community overwhelms us with their generosity," Little said.

Also on the agenda is a special one-day "Drive-Thru Toy Drop-off Event" that will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at Station 592, 8700 Refugee Road. People simply need only drive through the fire station bay and drop off new, unwrapped toys, gift cards or cash without getting out of their vehicles.

For the fourth straight year, Pickerington Girl Scout Troop 2140 will be assisting the firefighters during the event.

While new, unwrapped toys are preferable for the younger set, organizers of the toy drive said gift cards and/or monetary donations go to assist the older children or those with special needs.

Little said it is a remarkable sight to see when Station 592 is filled to the brim with toys of all makes and models.

"As it gets closer, the training room here overflows with toys," he said. "It's just a really great event."

To find out more about the Violet Township Firefighters Toy Drive call 614-837-4123.