Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

November 3, 2011

Toys For Tots drive in-sight

HELP Center to screen applicants for two days only

Athens — With Halloween in the rear-view mirror, the attention of major retailers across the nation turns to Christmas.

As the stores begin releasing this year's “must-haves,” the Henderson County HELP Center and the Athens Fire Department want the city of Athens to remember those who are less fortunate.

“Every child deserves to experience the joy of Christmas and the Holidays,” HELP line director Juana Negrete said.

For the past decade, the Henderson County Help Center and the Athens Fire Department have sponsored and coordinated the Toys For Tots program in cooperation with local businesses and organizations.

“The goal is to collect new, unwrapped toys as Christmas gifts for needy children in our community. This year, more than ever, our families need help,” Negrete said. “With your help, through a toy donation, a monetary donation, or volunteer assistance, we can make a child feel special, and included in a holiday celebration.”

The HELP Center screens applicants for the toy drive to make sure they meet certain criteria, and to also ensure that all the children in the home receive a toy that is appropriate to their age group.

New this year will be two days set aside for the screening. In previous years, the screen was open for an entire month, but created a chaotic environment. Instead of opening for an entire month, the screenings will take place on two Fridays.

The first screening day will be Friday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the HELP Center, while the second screening will be held Friday, Dec. 2 at the same time and location.

Applicants will need to bring a copy of each child's Social Security card that is needing a holiday gift, some type of identification for the parent, a school report card or medicaid report to prove the child lives with the parent, and an electric bill, or other form of identification to prove those applying live in the county.

Toys can be dropped off at any fire department in Athens, while Bacon Auto Ranch will hold a special car show Nov. 12 to increase toy giving.

Bacon Auto Ranch will have its first Toys For Tots auto show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m on Saturday, Nov. 12. Admission is free. 

The vehicle entry fee is two unwrapped toys. 

Late models, customs and classics, will be shown, while trophies will be awarded to the top three “Best in Show,” “People’s Choice,” and “Bacon’s Best.”

The Toys for Tots drive has helped more than 500 children a year in Henderson County, and is aiming to help even more have a memorable Christmas this year.

“Please join us to share the acts of kindness this year, and learn how you can help,” Negrete said.

For more information, call the Henderson County HELP Center at 903-675-4357.


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