More than 2,000 needy area boys and girls are relying on the community’s generosity through the annual Toys for Happiness campaign.
This is the 31st year for the toy drive, which seeks toy and gift donations at several collection locations in the area.
The Downtown Managers’ Office on South Mechanic Street has been set up as a drop-off point for toy and gift donations in addition to the food court near J.C. Penney in the Country Club Mall. People who are unable to deliver their donation may call 301-722-5500 to arrange a time and place for pickup.
Gift-wrapping stations to benefit the program will be set up at the mall beginning Friday and will be manned by volunteers throughout the holiday shopping season.
Neil Furlow’s 1913 International truck will be parked at the downtown Christmas tree during lighting ceremonies Friday evening to be filled with toy donations. Participants at the 7 p.m. tree-lighting are asked to bring an unwrapped toy or gift for a child age 15 or younger. Rides on an illuminated carriage will be offered downtown throughout the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. with boarding at the Tree House Toy Shoppe, 45 Baltimore St. Donations of an unwrapped toy or gift will be collected in lieu of a fee.
Other Toys for Happiness activities include the Harvest Skate today from 7 to 10 p.m. at Star-Lite Roller Skating Center on National Highway. Admission includes door prizes. Toy donations will be accepted. A bake sale will be held and magician Mike Iser will perform.
The ninth annual Santa’s workshop is scheduled Saturday from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in the LaVale Library. Children 5 to 10 years old will have the opportunity to create crafts, play games and enjoy snacks and a visit from Santa. To register, call Mary Beth Dawson at 301-777-8047. Siblings are admitted at a discount rate.
Ruby Tuesday is also participating in a flier program where 20 percent of purchases made on selected dates are given to Toys for Happiness.
If you are out shopping on this Black Friday or in the days ahead, think about the needs of the children in our community. They will have an opportunity for a brighter Christmas this year because of the generous donations made through Toys for Happiness.