Share Your Christmas brings toys to local children
Signups for local toy campaign open until Friday
The local community has organized efforts under the Share Your Christmas campaign to ensure area children get toys this holiday season.
Eligible families have until Friday to sign up for the campaign at the Barry County Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation Neighborhood Center, located at 700 E. Hwy. 248, which accepts applications from 9 a.m. to noon and 1--3 p.m., through Friday. Proof of all household income for October and Social Security cards for each household member are required.
"It is such an amazing program," said Gail Reed, who has been the Neighborhood Center supervisor for 20 years. "I know I say that every year. It's just like a big puzzle.
"All of these volunteers come together, and they all do their thing. At the end of it, you've got all of these toys for all of these kids."
Reed said this community is always active in making sure children have good Christmases. Share Your Christmas is a community project, and the Neighborhood Center is the central place for it.
"It's so much fun to watch the real Christmas spirit that comes through Cassville," she said.
Before Thanksgiving, the campaign delivers paper ornaments throughout the community, which indicate a child's age, from 0-12, and what the child would like for Christmas.
Many businesses will participate, allowing employees or customers to choose an ornament and gather the listed toy for the child. They then bring the toy back to where they picked up the ornament by Dec. 16.
Reed requested that each toy not be covered in wrapping paper.
On Dec. 18, volunteers distribute the toys at the Cassville United Methodist Church, located at 601 Gravel St., and families can pick up gift vouchers at the First Baptist Church Cassville, at 602 West St., for teenagers from 13-18 who are still living at home, using them to buy clothes for their children.
Businesses, area residents and organizations also raise money toward the campaign.
In 2013, the eight Mr. and Miss Merry Christmas candidates at Cassville High School raised $13,052.30 for Share Your Christmas.
For more information about the Share Your Christmas campaign, people may contact Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-847-2140.