MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Fire Department was abuzz with activity on Tuesday. Not because they needed to provide medical treatment or there had been a fire reported, but because of the Christmas spirit.
Hopeful children from all around Knox County were receiving a special Christmas gift, all thanks to the generous donations from those in the Knox County communities to Toys for Tots.
Now in its seventh consecutive year of conducting a Christmas toy drive, the MVFD teamed up with the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys For Tots program this year in helping to spread some holiday cheer.
“We wanted to make this a countywide effort,” said Michelle Foster, Knox County coordinator for Toys For Tots.
“Although Toys For Tots is a national organization, every campaign is local. All the toys and money we collect stays in Knox County,” she said.
Families in Knox County who cannot afford to purchase Christmas gifts for their children were able to register for the Toys For Tots program at one of the participating agencies or online. Foster said that proof of need must be demonstrated when registering. Items that may be asked for at this time include a Food Stamp identification number or a copy of a medical card.
Local organizations participating in the annual toy drive are Interchurch Social Services, Children’s Resource Center and The Salvation Army. As of Dec. 14, registrations were taken for 92 children at Centerburg Interchurch, 174 at Danville Interchurch, 571 at Mount Vernon Interchurch, 18 at the Children’s Resource Center and 306 at The Salvation Army of Knox County. A total of 118 individuals also registered online. “And there are still some coming in,” said Foster.
Helping coordinate the Toys For Tots toy drive at the Mount Vernon firehouse is executive secretary Kelly Shira.