Chelsea Bromley shows the Adirondack Community Outreach Center’s holiday toy collection bin at The Exchange at North Creek.
The Adirondack Community Outreach Center (ACOC) is once again asking town of Johnsburg residents to help their neighbors in need with Christmas presents this year.
In 2011, the Outreach Center’s toy drive helped give Christmas presents to more than 130 children, and they’re expected to serve about 150 this year, according to ACOC Board President Judy Brown.
“We’ve had some interesting thank-you notes from some of the people,” Brown said. “I think I saved one from the first year I did it. She (a mother) wrote me a poem on what it meant to her family ... She had four children, and her husband had recently left her, and she just didn’t have. She was just in need. She said that there was a good chance that there might not have been anything much under the Christmas tree without the Outreach Center.”
Donation cans for money and bins for toys are located at many local businesses and offices around the North Creek area, including the Town of Johnsburg Library, Basil & Wick’s, Community Bank, Cafe Sarah, Marsha’s, the Hudson River Trading Company, Trimmers, the Saratoga & North Creek Railway, Adirondack Spirits, The Exchange at North Creek, the Wevertown Country Store and The Barking Spider.
The deadline for toy drive donations is Monday, Dec. 10.
“We bring everything in on the 10th,” Brown said. “On the 11th, we start setting up the tables and then we see what we have and we know where we need to fill in.”
The donated toys must be new, not used. The Outreach Center distributes the toys it is given, and volunteers also buy more toys with the donated money.
“It’s kind of good to get money instead of toys because we go and buy in volume,” Brown said. “Like Kmart will give us 10 to 20 percent off our total purchases.”
Toy distribution will be held at the Adirondack Community Outreach Center on Route 28 in North Creek on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 13 and the morning of Saturday, Dec. 15. Those families in need of toy donations should call the Outreach Center at 251-3481 for times of distribution.
“It’s like the holidays come early on the 13th,” Brown said. “We put everything out, and people come. There’s definitely spirit in the room.”
The Outreach Center’s toy drive is unique in that they allow grandparents to come and pick out presents.
“We live in an area that there are so many elderly people that are on a fixed income that they might not have enough money to give their grandchildren a toy or anything for Christmas,” Brown said.
The kids don’t actually attend the toy drive; it’s the parents and the grandparents who pick up the toys.
“Parents are allowed a large toy, a medium toy and stocking stuffers,” Brown said. “Grandparents are only allowed a medium-sized toy.”
For more information, call 251-3481 or visit online at www.adkoutreach.org.