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Toys for Tots drive under way

By Staff
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
Morgan County Toys for Tots Coordinator Jerry Turner expects another great turnout from Hartselle residents and merchants this holiday season as the city's fifth annual Toys for Tots campaign gets under way.
"Last year was the best year we've had in years," Turner said. "Approximately 8,000 children received Christmas through Toys for Tots in this area alone. Hopefully this year will be even bigger and better."
From now until Dec. 23, Turner said new, unwrapped toys for ages newborn to 15 years can be dropped at Hartselle Fire Station 1 on Main Street or at Station 2 at the intersection of Crestline and Main Street West. Donation boxes will also be located at Hartselle Kroger and Wal-Mart Supercenter, as well as Wal-Mart locations in Decatur, Cullman, Moulton, Athens, Madison, Huntsville, Scottsboro, Guntersville, Arab and Boaz.
Toys for Tots, sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps, will distribute the toys to needy children across 11 North Alabama counties this Christmas.
Turner said the main distribution center in Huntsville is planning to provide Christmas for 8,000-10, 000 children this year. He said the need is especially great for toys for ages 12-15.
"The people here in Hartselle make the Toys for Tots drive a success each year," Turner said. "And all the toys help local families."
Hartselle Firefighter Randy Summerford said he could attest to that fact.
"A night or two before Christmas in 2002, a Hartselle family's house burned down. They had children, so we called Jerry right away. He came right on over and brought new toys for those kids. They wouldn't have had Christmas without the Toys for Tots donations people here in Hartselle had made."
"We know the community will continue to support Toys for Tots this year and give these children a great Christmas once again," Hartselle Fire Captain Stuart Nesmith said. "It's such a blessing to for the kids to receive the toys, but it's also a blessing to give them."
The Marines' chief community relations event, Toys for Tots, collected and distributed more than 15 million toys to 6.5 million needy children last year.