This year will mark a first for the Rescue Squad Toy Drive.
In its over 50 years of existence, this will be the first time children receive all new toys. No gifts will be used.
“It’s been a good year and this is one of the things we’ve been able to do with the extra donations,” said Rescue Squad director Chad Hillis. “The Toy Ride helped a lot with that. They had a strong year for donations so we’re using that money to buy new toys for everyone.”
The annual Toy Ride, held last weekend, raised a record $29,134, according to organizer Rob Wolford. He said it was so much money, he expects to do more than just buy toys.
“We’re going to make sure every ticket is filled here for every kid to make sure they all have toys for Christmas,” said Wolford. “Once that’s done, we’re looking at making a donation to Kids of the Community.”
Toy distribution day at the Rescue Squad is this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hillis said over 400 kids have already been registered to receive a box of toys.
“I’m sure we’ll have some more who come straggling in the last few days and we’re not going to turn any kids from Warren County away,” said Hillis. “The great thing about this Toy Drive is it’s the people of Warren County who make it happen because they want to supply kids who live in Warren County with toys for Christmas. We collect the money here, we spend it here, and we give the toys to kids here.”
Hillis said it takes about 20 Rescue Squad volunteers to coordinate the Toy Drive with work beginning in early November. He said Toy Ride organizers also lend a big hand.