By RORYE O’CONNOR
MT. VERNON — —
Volunteers and organizers from Toys for Kids of Jefferson County saw fewer kids get toys this year — 850 compared to its usual 1,000 or more — but still saw a crowd for Friday’s distribution.
“We were surprised, we thought they’d be up,” said Jill Holloway, Toys for Kids of Jefferson County president. “But we were short this year on donations.”
Volunteers gathered at the Toys for Kids Headquarters at 7:15 a.m. to get ready for the rush of parents coming to pick up toys at 8 a.m.
“We had a lot of volunteers,” Holloway said. “The giveaway goes quick once you get going.”
Holloway said though the organization was short on toys for older boys and girls and newborns, she shopped for the things they still needed in advance of the giveaway and had plenty in time.
Rochelle Bond, another member of Toys for Kids of Jefferson County, said about 20 volunteers helped out with the distribution Friday morning.
“It went great,” she said. “Everybody was in the Christmas spirit.”
Preparation for next year’s event begins today, Holloway said, as members will keep an eagle eye for before- or after-Christmas sales on toys. Some toys are left over from the distribution, and may be donated to an organization like Angels on Assignment, she said.
Holloway said everyone from Toys for Kids of Jefferson County wants to thank the businesses and churches who organized fundraisers for them, or made donations of toys or cash.