Calvary Baptist Church youth members Macy Reeves and Kalli Beth Daniel help select toys for the Helping Santa toy drive.
Calvary Baptist Church youth members Macy Reeves and Kalli Beth Daniel help select toys for the Helping Santa toy drive.

Archived Story

Helping Santa helps 352 children

Published 5:07pm Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This Christmas will be a lot more merry and bright thanks to the city of Russellville and all who helped with the annual Helping Santa toy drive.

Today and tomorrow, bags of toys for 352 children ages newborn to 15 years old will be distributed at the Russellville Fire Department’s Station 1 thanks to the donations of toys and money that event coordinators collected over the past two months.

Russellville Fire Capt. Randy Seal, who headed up the project, said donations had been down, but thanks to generous monetary donations from several businesses, organizations and individuals, they city will be sending home gifts for each child who was registered and qualified for the program.

“It always gets a little stressful wondering if we are going to receive enough toys  or monetary donations to help each child who is signed up to receive gifts, but the community really has come through for this program,” Seal said.

“We appreciate everyone who had a hand in this program, especially the guys I work with at the fire department, Linda Michael at the Russellville Police Department, the mayor and city council, and the other departments.

“A lot of work goes into this toy drive every year, but it’s always worth it.”

Seal said members of Calvary Baptist Church’s youth group came to the station on Monday to help sort and bag toys and to help purchase addition items with the monetary donations.

“It was really great to have the kids down here helping us,” Seal said.

“You could tell they enjoyed it and were glad to be helping these other kids have a good Christmas this year.

“Bagging up all these toys and knowing they would be going to 352 different kids from the city and the county who wouldn’t have had very much on Christmas morning was priceless, and we’re so glad we could help out the community, especially during the holidays.”

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