MOUNT VERNON — For the fourth year in a row, the Mount Vernon Fire Department will be sponsoring the Christmas for Kids toy drive. Collected toys will be used to benefit Interchurch Social Services’ Turn the Tide program; all collected toys will stay in Knox County.
“There is an application process for the parents that is done through Interchurch,” said Fire Chief Shawn Christy. “This is what Interchurch does every day of the year. And they have certain criteria for what families are eligible for this. Once a family is on the list, they are eligible for toys. And the more toys we collect, the more kids we can help.”
The MVFD is being aided in the collection by CES Credit Union. Both CES locations, as well as the fire department, are acting as collection points for the drive. Monetary donations will also be accepted.
“The cash can be dropped off here at the fire station or at the CES locations,” said Christy. “We use that money to supplement where there are gaps. Generally speaking, that will be presents for the older children. We generally use that money for things like movie or bowling passes.”
The MVFD’s toy drive is similar to the one done by the Columbus Fire Department in conjunction with the Marines.
“We’ve done this for several years,” Christy said. “And we’ve taken it upon ourselves to take an active role with the kids. We see a lot of kids throughout the year where they do have negative experiences, and this is something where we’ve tried to get together and do something locally for the children. And children are always the innocent victims. It’s something where we try to bring a few smiles in the county. Times are tough for all of us, but we have to remember there’s always a lot of people who are in worse situations than we are. And every little bit can really make a difference.”
Toys should be delivered to the Mount Vernon Fire station on West Gambier Street or the CES Credit Union locations at 1215 Yauger Road and 400 W. Chestnut St. Any business that would like to be a collection point or assist with the toy drive should call Christy at 393-9515.