Optimist Club starts annual toy drive

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

The Chillicothe Optimist Club, in partnership with the Chillicothe Community Needs Agency, will soon kick off its annual toy drive.

For many years, the Optimist Club has organized this drive to provide toys for the children of the Chillicothe families who will receive food baskets from Community Needs.

This year’s distribution of baskets and toys will happen on Dec. 17 at the IVC high school.

Last year, 99 boys and 88 girls from newborn through age 14 each received a bag of toys. In spite of the economy, citizens of Chillicothe rose to the occasion and each child received two to four toys.

The “Giving Tree” sponsors for 2011 include the Chillicothe Public Library, Pearce Community Center, Kroger, Geiger’s True Value Hardware and First National Bank.

 Each sponsor puts up a tree with gift tags, usually in the form of a Christmas card or a paper ornament. The tag has the age and gender of a child.

People take those tags, purchase a gift appropriate for that age and gender, wrap the present, securely fasten the tag to the gift, and return the gift to the tree that the tag came from.

New last year, Tim and Shelly’s 2nd Street Bar and Grill collected toys, and Dollar General for several years has put out a box to collect toys. A&A Chiropractic collects items for older (11-14) children, an age group that people are often less comfortable with. Over the years, many other groups have also contributed toys, either by taking tags from a tree or collecting separately.

All recipients of the toys are from the IVC school district. They are also Grade School age and below. Toys need to be returned to the giving tree locations by Dec. 15.

Anyone with questions may call Sandy Dunbar at 657-5915.