Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO
  • Macon County Ministries collects toys

  • Macon County Ministries has set up toy collection boxes at several area businesses for donations of toys for their annual Santa Shop. Taegan and Tanner Nelson, children of Travis and Brenda Nelson are pictured placing toys in a collection box. Toys collected between now and Dec. 4 will go to needy families so that they will have toys for their children this Christmas.
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  • Toys are being collected in Macon at Bank Midwest, Bank of Macon, Citizens Bank & Trust, Dollar General, Long Branch YMCA, Macon-Atlanta State Bank and both U.S. Bank locations; at Matt’s Market in Bevier, both locations of Bank of New Cambria in Bevier and New Cambria; and at LaPlata State Bank.
    As many families purchase extra groceries for Thanksgiving dinners, other families throughout Macon County are already worrying about a Christmas that may lack enough food, warm clothing, or even toys for the children.
    Macon County Ministries is ready once again with plans to help those families meet some of their needs through “Helping Hands at Christmas” and the Santa Shop.
    Debbie Hartung and Cheryl Carlson coordinate the overall program, and Sandy Coons organizes the Santa Shop after receiving names from them of the families who need toys.
     Toys are needed early, with final toy pick-up from area collection locations on Dec. 4.  This allows time for the toys to be inventoried and organized before parents come to the Santa Shop on December 8 to select toys.  The Santa Shop takes place early in December so parents are sure their children will have something to open on Christmas morning.
    Individuals, churches, and clubs are invited to sponsor and deliver food baskets and  clothing for families through “Helping Hands.”  Names are provided to Hartung and Carlson by state agencies, Head Start and churches.  This year the initial focus is on single parent families and grandparents raising their grandkids.
    Sponsors get matched with a family or families, and the sponsor purchases and delivers the food and clothing a week before Christmas.  Others may wish to make monetary donations to be used for families through “Helping Hands.”  To sponsor a family or give a financial gift, contact Debbie Hartung at 385-4156 or Cheryl Carlson at 385-1999.
    “It takes a big response by the public to provide the needed food, clothing, and toys for struggling area families, and it is Macon County Ministries’ hope that people will again respond as generously as they have in past years,” said Coons.
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