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ST. MARYS — An annual toy drive to benefit children in the St. Marys School District is in full swing.
Barrels looking for donations as part of the Toys for Tots drive are out in full force at approximately 30 local businesses. Organizer Steve Mackenbach has been in charge of the drive for more than two decades.
“The thing about it I like the most is that everyone just seems up beat about it,” Mackenbach said. “Everyone seems to enjoy it and it’s just a positive thing.”
Toys collected from the drive are delivered to the Armory and as part of the Goodfellows program, which helps disadvantaged children in the St. Marys School District.
The fact the toys stay local is something Mackenbach touted as a positive for the collection drive.
“Everything we collect helps our community,” Mackenbach said.
“It’s an excellent partnership because we bring the toys to them and they do all the food and have all the boxes and all the volunteers. There are a lot of people involved in the whole process.”
As shoppers make the rounds, Mackenbach encouraged them to keep an eye out for one particular age group.
“I was just told the 8 to 12-year-olds sometimes don’t get enough gifts,” Mackenbach said. “I thought it was the older kids who weren’t getting enough presents.”
Donations also will be accepted to help purchase toys. Mackenbach said donors can contact him at Coldwell Banker in St. Marys or Mike Makley at the St. Marys Community Foundation.
Toys will be collected until Dec. 17. The toys will then be transported to the Armory to be sorted by a slew of volunteers as part of the Goodfellows program.
The toys, along with food boxes, will be delivered on Dec. 24.
For more information, contact Mackenbach at 419-394-7402 or visit Coldwell Banker at 156 E. Spring St., St. Marys. Nationally, Toys for Tots is a major project of the Marine Corps Reserve.