MOUNT GILEAD — There are plenty of ways to give to those in need this Christmas season. All you need to do is look around the county.
Below is a sampling of efforts that have taken place or are happening between now and Dec. 25:
TOY DRIVE: For the 13th season, the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office is holding a toy drive.
They began collecting toys on Black Friday and will continue until Dec. 24. Their dispatch center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to accept your donations.
All toys collected remain in Morrow County.
KETTLES: The Morrow County Salvation Army needs volunteers now through Christmas Eve.
If interested in helping, contact Volunteer Coordinator Chad Ritchey at 567-231-3824, email [email protected] or or go to their Facebook page, Morrow County Salvation Army.
The kick off to the 2017 kettle drive began Nov. 24.
“Please consider donating a few hours of your time to help a great cause in Morrow County,” Ritchey said.
FOOD DRIVE: Mount Gilead Village Mayor Mike Porter is hosting the annual food drive Saturday, Dec. 16 at the mayor’s office from 9 a.m. to noon. Take items to 72 W. High Street, east door.
“These food pantries can buy food from Mid-Ohio Food Bank at a reduced cost, so a cash or check donation goes farther,” Porter said.
Fresh Faith Food Pantry, Morrow County JFS Food Pantry, No Limits Outreach Food Pantry, Trinity United Methodist Church Food Pantry and Edison Enterprise Baptist Church Food Pantry.
Those who write a check may make it out to any of the above pantries.
“Thank you to all who have helped in past years, and those who will help this year,” Porter said.
FINES LIFTED: During December, Selover Public Library in Chesterville is having a Food For Fines drive. Each canned or boxed food item patrons bring in for the local food pantry will clear an overdue fine from their accounts.
“We’ve done this program for years because there are so many positives,” said Director Suzi Lyle. “Sometimes having too many overdue fines keeps people from visiting the library, and Food for Fines brings our patrons back through our doors. Plus, they’re helping to stock the local food bank.”
The library asks patrons to make sure their donations aren’t damaged or expired. The library is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1 to 7:30 p.m.
MORE TOYS: Toys for Tots will be accepting applications for Morrow County residents. You must apply for an application and meet the criteria listed.
HELP FOR FAMILIES: North Woodbury Alliance Church helps families who are unable to purchase gifts for their children living within their home.
“We have over a little over 450 kids being shopped for ages birth through 18. It’s a pretty big event where we have door prizes, hot cocoa and cookies to enjoy while they wait their turn to shop,” said Stacie Hill.
They offer gift wrapping if you so choose, and live Christmas music on Friday, Dec. 8.
ADOPTING: The Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates program at Mount Gilead High School is adopting two children and two elderly people for the holiday.
“We raised money this year by having a fundraiser at Pizzaburg. We will go shopping for them Dec. 10. The students really enjoy giving back to the community,” said Gerry Hartman.
BRING FOOD: Highland Schools Christmas concert held a canned food drive as part of their Dec. 7 performance.
FOOD BASKETS: Saturday, Dec. 9 is the monthly all-you-can-eat Pancake Charity Breakfast from the Sacred Hearts Knights of Columbus #14671. Held at Sacred Hearts Church, 4680 U.S. 42, Cardington.
All proceeds this month are donated to their food baskets for the needy this holiday season. Hours are 7-10 a.m.
AND MORE TOYS: Marengo Methodist youth will be holding a toy drive at Big Walnut Fire House 10 a.m. to noon on Dec. 9 and 16.
They will be distributed to parents in the family life center at Marengo United Methodist Church on Dec. 18 and 19 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Call the church office at 419-253-5642 for more information.
SHOEBOXES SENT: At His Feet Christian Center collected more than 1,200 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, an outreach of Samaritan’s Purse headed by Franklin Graham.
The boxes brought in from Morrow County churches and individuals were sent to needy boys and girls across the world and should arrive by Christmas Day.