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Local groups seek toys for needy children
Officials anticipate more need for this year
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Marina Day

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Christmas present drives

Toys for Tots: Deliver new, unwrapped toys priced from $10-$15 to the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce at 230 E.E. Butler Parkway or to United Way of Hall County at 527 Oak St. before Dec. 14. About 100 more drop-off locations will be announced after Nov. 9. For more information call 770-536-1121.

51st Annual Mayors’ Motorcade: Deliver new, unwrapped gifts or check donations at the Community Service Center at 430 Prior St. SE. Gifts also can be dropped off at Gainesville fire stations before Dec. 9. For more information call 770-503-3330.

The magic of Christmas morning often centers around what’s under the Christmas tree. But for many children this year, that magic won’t happen without the help of local agencies.

United Way of Hall County is teaming up with the U.S. Marine Corps and the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Hall County group to implement the local Toys for Tots program. The program aims to gather and deliver one or two donated gifts to each impoverished, abused, neglected or fostered child in the area. The Salvation Army, CASA and Friends of Recovery will assist in toy distribution.

Jackie Wallace, president of United Way of Hall County, said the local Toys for Tots campaign gave toys to roughly 2,000 children last year. She said based on the volume of telephone inquiries United Way already has received, there will be more children in need of a little joy on Christmas morning this year.

“Parents are out of work. They’re concerned more with food, clothing and shelter than they are with toys, and rightly so,” she said. “We know people are struggling. We know people are hurting. We do anticipate more need this year.”

She said athletic equipment, make-up and books are great inexpensive gifts and toys for infants are in high demand.

Toys can be dropped off at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce or at the United Way of Hall County before Dec. 14.

The 51st Annual Mayors’ Motorcade also is collecting Christmas gifts.

Carol Lamonica, senior secretary of the Community Service Center, said gifts and cash donations benefit Hall County residents who are in Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital in Rome. AVITA Community Partners in Gainesville also receives a portion of cash donations.

Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at the Community Service Center and Gainesville fire stations before Dec. 9. Checks can be mailed to the Community Service Center.

The Mayors’ Motorcade culminates at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 9 when a fire truck featuring Santa Claus will lead the send off celebration for the delivery of the gifts. Children from Fair Street IB World School and the City Celebration Singers also will participate in the motorcade that begins at the Senior Life Center.

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