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Toy donations needed for more than 300 children

With Christmas a little more than two weeks away, holiday shopping is on everyone’s mind, and organizers of the city of Russellville’s Helping Santa Program are asking citizens who are shopping for Christmas presents in the coming weeks to remember those who might not be getting anything this year.
The purpose of the Helping Santa Program is to make sure children of needy families in the area still have a joyous Christmas morning filled with toys, laughter and the holiday spirit, but that largely depends on donations from the community.
Russellville Fire Capt. Randy Seal, who is coordinating the program, said donations are down and the city needs the community’s help.
“We have passed our deadline to sign-up for the program and we have about 300 kids who met the requirements to participate,” Seal said. “That means there are 300 children in this area who are depending on donations from generous people around the county so they can have a merry Christmas this year.”
Seal said the 300 children set to receive gifts come from not only the city of Russellville but the surrounding towns and communities in Franklin County as well.
“Our hope is that we’ll receive donations from people all over the county, not just those who live in the city of Russellville,” Seal said. “Even though Russellville is sponsoring the program, we have kids all over the county signed up, so this is a county-wide effort to make sure these kids have something to wake up to on Christmas morning.”
Seal said they would be more than happy to receive donations of toys or monetary donations that organizers will use to purchase toys.
“If you’re at the store already, just consider picking up and extra toy or even a few toys and place them in one of the collection boxes we have throughout the city,” he said. “It doesn’t take a lot of extra effort to really make a difference in a child’s life.”
Anyone who would like to make donations of new or slightly used toys for children ages newborn to 15 years old can drop the toys off in the Helping Santa boxes located at the following businesses and locations: Russellville City Hall, Ralph C. Bishop Community Center, Chucky Mullins Center, Russellville Police Department, Russellville Fire Department Stations 1 and 2, Russellville Street Department, Dependable True Value, Country Cottage Assisted Living, Hibbetts Sporting Goods, Fred’s, Five Star Pizza, Advance Auto Parts, Auto Zone, Alabama Central Credit Union, First Metro Bank, all Valley State Bank locations in Russellville, Community Spirit Bank, all CB&S Bank locations in Russellville, Valley Credit Union, Trikes Unlimited, Jack’s Restaurant, Wal-Mart, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Goody’s, CVS, Miller’s Affordable Furniture, Artistic Jewelry, Transcare EMS, Frosty Inn, Wayne’s Catfish Haven, The Drug Shop, Family Pharmacy and Hometown Pharmacy.
Monetary donations can be made at any of the banks listed in order for organizers to purchase additional toys and needed items.
“Any help we can get will be greatly appreciated,” Seal said, “and I know those children and their families will appreciate it, too.”