Mega Toy Give-Away planned for Dec. 8

From staff reports

Hand In Hand and Galloway Church have partnered together to give away toys and clothes to friends and neighbors in Venango County.

The Mega Toy Give-Away will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, at the Hand In Hand Building, 118 Grant Street, Franklin. Everything is free at this event. The only qualifications are to live in Venango County and to have children or grandchildren.

The event features parent’s and grandparent’s choice of toys for children ages 12 and under, door prizes every hour, Santa’s Workshop for kids while parents “shop”, photo booth scenes for children and family photos, hot chocolate and cookies, gift wrapping, and free shuttle rides to Galloway Church for free clothing (all ages).

The friends and family of Hand In Hand discovered an unexpected positive outcome of the shutdowns and cancellations of the past two years.

Hand In Hand collects new and gently used toys all year round and donates them to a local charity every year in December. With no place to give them to for two years, Hand In Hand has collected a massive amount of toys to give away.

In an attempt to maximize limited community resources, Hand In Hand has chosen to collect gently used toys so that community members can donate their new toys to the larger organizations such as Toys for Tots and Spirit of Giving.

Hand In Hand has collected donations of toys, bikes, scooters, stuffed animals, winter coats, boots and more.

The children at Vacation Bible School at Centerville Community Baptist Church raised money and brought in their gently used toys over the summer in order to donate to the toy drive. Each day they brought in their pennies and coins to contribute and as they saw the amount of toys growing, they began searching in their toy boxes for toys to donate. The collection continued to grow as the children got more and more excited.

Just to top off this beautiful story, on the last day of Bible School, a little boy walked in with this amazing orange dragon and told his teacher that this was his favorite toy, and even though he really liked to play with it, he thought that another child should get to play with it now.

Donation drives bring out the best in people, both the givers and receivers. In a sense, everyone wins, and we all get a chance to pay it forward and help someone else.