Tots program in need of toys

For some children in McCulloch County, Santa will arrive early this year. Next Wednesday and Thursday, children registered in the local Toys for Tots program, sponsored annually by McCulloch County Helping Hands, will have many of their Christmas wishes come true. “We have at least 300 children registered to date,” said Helping Hands Director Dorothy Lafuente. Individual donations as well as business and club donations help keep the Toys for Tots program a success in McCulloch County. Perhaps the largest fund-raiser benefitting Toys for Tots is the annual Thanksgiving dinner offered by Kathy and Arturo Gloria, owner of Brady’s El Flamingo restaurant. This year’s dinner raised $2,512.50 for the local toy program, and an additional $250 was donated to the Gloria family’s fund-raiser by the Brady Kiwanis Club. VFW Post #3234 has also had a hand in helping needy children this year. Collectively, the organization raised $500 for the worthy program. Aside from the monetary donations, two clubs at Brady High School, Interact Club and FCCLA have stepped in to assist with youthful Christmas wishes. Donating their time in the afternoons, the Interact Club has been busy wrapping Christmas gifts for children registered through Toys for Tots. In addition, the club also collected numerous canned goods and over 1,000 pounds of flour to benefit Helping Hands. The Brady High School FCCLA club has been busy as well, purchasing and wrapping gifts for less fortunate children looking to share in the joy of Christmas this holiday season. “We’ve already purchased a portion of the gifts and should finish the second purchase sometime this week,” said Mrs. Lafuente. “We do ask that anyone who has already purchased a gift to drop it and the child’s angel by the Helping Hands Center so that volunteers can get all of the gifts wrapped and delivered as soon as possible. “Sometimes we have three kids to a family registered for the Toys for Tots program. We’d like for those kids to get their gifts at the same time rather than one at a time.” Toys for Tots purchases will be distributed Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 19 and 20. Mrs. Lafuente added that the center likes to have all of the gifts handed out by then so volunteers can prepare for their annual Christmas party that they host for local senior citizens. For more information about the program, or to make a donation to McCulloch County Helping Hands, contact the center at 597-2646.

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