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Holiday toy and food distribution set for Dec. 16

By Erin Cleavenger

The holiday season is fast approaching, closing out another challenging year for many Monongalia County families. Christian Help, the United Way of Mon and Preston Counties, and the Monongalia County Humane Society have teamed up to bring the families of Mon County a wonderful Christmas again this year with the 40th annual holiday toy and food distribution.

Registration is required for those wanting to receive toys. If you are only in need of food, you do not need to register. Those wanting pet food for families with dogs and cats should say how many pets they have when registering with Christian Help.

For those who would like to receive toys for their children, registration is still open through Christian Help directly. “It will run now through October 29, and it is Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and they will just need to call in because we are doing it over the phone,” said Brian Marsh, the Christian Help Free Store coordinator.

 No late registration will be accepted for the toy distribution.

Christian Help will collect the toys for distribution.

“There will be barrels placed in businesses throughout the community, though we don’t know where yet,” Marsh said. “You can certainly bring donations here [to the Christian Help store] at any time Monday through Friday, and we will accept them.”

Toy donations must be new and still in the box or original packaging and can be for kids from infants to 18. If you are unsure what to buy, you can find a direct link to an Amazon wish list by clicking on the News and Events tab on Christian Help’s website

Christian Help also still needs volunteers to be “Santa’s Helpers.”

 “We will need volunteers to package the items,”  Marsh said. “Santa’s helpers will be packaging items per the registrant’s list of items their kids would like.”

Distribution will be held Dec. 16 at the WV National Guard Readiness Center. The Mountaineer Food Bank will  offer the mobile food bank for the event, and the Monongalia County Humane Society will provide pet food for families with dogs and cats.

If you have questions about volunteering for the event,  contact or by phone at 304-322-2063.

If you are interested in making a financial contribution or would like more information,  contact one of the following: the United Way at 304-296-7525 for food, Christian Help at 304-296-0221 for toys, Mon County Humane Society at 304-296-6247 for pet food. You can also text “Christmas” to 304-301-1225 to receive a direct link to the online giving form via text message.

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