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November 7, 2013

Christmas Toy Shop support helps make many dreams come true

In the movies, miracles happen during the Christmas season. Wishes come true. Somehow, everything works out.

Last year, we saw a little miracle happen right here in Marion County. Organizers of the annual Christmas Toy Shop set a lofty goal of $10,000 to purchase new toys for underprivileged children. By the end of the drive, $15,208.52 was collected.

So many children in Marion County wake up to piles of presents around the tree on Christmas morning. We’re sure of that. But many of them do not.

Economic times certainly aren’t the best these days, however, and try as they may, it’s not always possible for every family to give their children a “good” Christmas. That’s where the Christmas Toy Shop enters the picture.

The Toy Shop will be held for the fifth time on Black Friday — the day following Thanksgiving and one that annually is set aside for the “unofficial” opening of the Christmas shopping season. Some people believe there are more shoppers out on Black Friday than any other day during the shopping season, and that’s why this day was selected for the huge toy giveaway at the former Bauer’s Lumber building on Auburn Street.

The idea, of course, is for volunteers to fill the lumber building with toys — new or slightly used toys. And they have done an amazing job with this over the past four years. Those working behind the scenes for the Toy Shop believe that donated money can account for more presents than donated gifts, and many toys were presented to the Toy Shop last year that were purchased off the shelves of Marion County stores since the goal was exceeded to the level it was.

The cash goal this year is $17,500 — a total that can purchase many, many toys. And 100 percent of the monetary gifts will be used to purchase toys for this project, like baby toys, preschool toys, bicycles, trikes and scooters, games and puzzles, sporting goods, video games and electronics, radio-operated vehicles, books and action figures.

We know Christmas isn’t about the “things” we have or how many presents are under the tree. But we also know the heartbreak that comes from not being able to provide for your children even a few small things for the holiday. As we strategize our Black Friday shopping sprees, filling the carts with the latest and greatest toy or electronic device, we need to remember the parents who wish they had just a few extra dollars to buy a Christmas wish for their own child.

The Christmas Toy Shop allows parents who wouldn’t normally be able to “shop” for their children to choose a few gifts they can give to their children to keep the magic of the holidays alive. But we need your help.

To contribute funds to meet the goal, make checks payable to Christmas Toy Shop and send to: The Baptist Temple, 430 Morgantown Ave., Fairmont, WV 26554. Checks may also be dropped off at the Times West Virginian’s business offices.

The deadline for cash donations is Wednesday, Nov. 27, so that volunteers will have the time to shop to make needy children’s dreams come true this year.

We have seen the tears flow from the eyes of a father who was recently laid off as he chose toys for his children at the Toy Shop in the past, and we have seen the look of relief on mother’s face because she didn’t know where the money would come from to buy Christmas gifts that year.

This is one gift that will keep on giving to the littlest ones in our county, and we hope the community will continue to support it as they have done in the past.

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