MOUNT VERNON — About six years ago, Shawn Christy, Mount Vernon firefighter and now chief, and the new owners of Eagle 97 and 1300 WMVO launched the Christmas for Kids campaign, a program to provide toys for children and youngsters who may not otherwise receive a Christmas gift.
The 2010 campaign is in full swing, Christy said, and the response has been fantastic. “The turnout so far has been pretty good,” he said, adding that the bulk of the donations seem to come at the end of the drive, which this year concludes on Monday, Dec. 13.
“It’s a wonderful thing,” Christy said. “We truly live in a wonderful giving community. Even though times are rough for all of us, people still understand that as we prosper or as we kind of tighten things up, that’s all relative and there’s always people who are in need. People still seem to open their hearts as well as their wallets to provide wonderful gifts. I think it’s the greatest thing in the world.”
“We have received some pretty good monetary donations as well,” said Christy, “which we use to fill any sort of void. That is, almost all of our toys are heavily weighted toward boys or girls or younger kids. Obviously an 11-, 12-, or 13-year-old kid is a little bit more difficult to buy for than a 4-year-old or infant. Those are easy. With the money, we are able to kind of fill that gap with things like movie passes and bowling passes.”
Interchurch Social Services partners with the firefighters for Christmas for Kids.
Joy Harris, director of Interchurch Social Services said, “It’s wonderful. The firefighters do a tremendous job for us. They are always careful to get a wide [variety of toys] for all ages and both genders. They do a lot of work. They deliver the toys directly to First Church of the Nazarene, where we do our distribution. It’s just wonderful. They collect them and we distribute them.”
Interchurch takes applications ahead of time from families needing assistance for the holidays, and when the toys come in, they’re divided by appropriate ages and gender.