Groups making dreams come true this yuletide season


DARKE COUNTY — Many organizations are doing their best to make this Christmas special for many families, especially children.

Toys collected

The Friends of the Union City, Ohio, Police Department, nonprofit organization is getting ready for this year’s Christmas Toy Program. Applications may be picked up at Main Source Bank. Children 10 years and under may participate. They must also live within the city limits of the village of Union City, Ohio.

Applications must be returned to Main Source Bank by noon Saturday, Nov. 19. If there are any questions, feel free to contact Harold Schafer at 937-459-2594 or Kathy Marker at 937-459-8275. A toy collection box will be located at Main Source Bank and Dollar General for anyone who would like to donate toys. The collection boxes will be available through Friday, Dec. 2.

Toys for Tykes

The Road Hogg Riders, in conjunction with Mark’s Bike Drive, will launch its annual Toys for Tikes Campaign in an effort to brighten the holidays for families less fortunate this holiday season in the Darke County area. The Toy collection will take place on Sunday, Nov. 27 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in downtown Greenville on the Circle.

Club members will be available during this time to accept new and very gently used toys (no used stuffed animals). Cash donations will also be accepted for purchase of other items needed by families less fortunate. Community members are reminded that the club will be out on the circle rain or shine and is encouraging everyone to stop by and assist them with this worthwhile project.

The agency will have an application process available for all families in need, not only in Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), but for the general public that need assistance this holiday season. The community is reminded that not all applications will be accepted or fulfilled. The process will be based on need and availability of supplies.

Call ahead appointments for Christmas help applications will be scheduled now through Tuesday, Nov. 29. Anyone wishing to receive an application should contact the local Big Brothers Big Sisters office at 937-547-9622. There will also be applications available at the Community Action Partnership. The agency will have a strict application deadline of Tuesday, Nov. 29 for those families needing assistance.

Selected families will be notified Friday, Dec. 2 with a scheduled pick-up date of Thursday, Dec. 17 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Darke County Fairgrounds’ Spiritual Life Center, located at 800 Sweitzer St. in Greenville. For more information, individuals can contact the Big Brothers Big Sisters office at 937-547-9622. Individuals not able to drop off toy items on the scheduled date may contact Big Brothers Big Sisters to make other arrangements.

Christmas shop

EUM Church Star Seekers of Greenville announces a Christmas shop for eligible families to purchase gifts for their children at minimal prices.

For $6, a child ages birth through 12 years, parents may purchase toys of a much higher value. Tickets may be purchased the day of the event to select gifts for $1, $2 and $3. Families must live in Darke County and meet eligibility guidelines.

Star Seekers Christmas Shop will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the EUM Worship Center, 1451 Sater St., Greenville. In case of bad weather, it will be held Saturday, Dec. 10. Applications are available on line at at the EUM Church Office, 111 Devor St., Greenville, or by calling EUM at 937-548-3211. Applications must be received by the church office by Monday, Nov. 14.

Jeff Harper is lead pastor of the church.

Shoebox project

Hundreds of Greenville residents will transform empty shoeboxes into gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items Monday, Nov. 14 – Monday, Nov, 21. Greenville volunteers are opening several sites in the area to serve as drop-off locations for gift-filled shoeboxes. The gifts will then be delivered around the world by the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child to children who are living in the midst of poverty, war, disease or natural disaster.

Several local locations will serve as collection sites this year for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child—the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind.

During National Collection Week, Nov. 14 – 21, Greenville residents will donate shoeboxes—filled with school supplies, hygiene items, notes of encouragement and fun toys, such as a doll or soccer ball—for Operation Christmas Child to deliver to children in need around the world. This year, Greenville and surrounding cities residents hope to contribute more than 49,500 shoebox gifts toward the 2016 global goal of reaching 12 million children.

“The shoebox gifts donated by Greenville volunteers at these drop-off locations will shine a light of hope to children living in poverty overseas,” said Greenville volunteer Sandy Gargas. “Anyone is welcome to pack a shoebox and help a child facing difficult circumstances to feel loved and not forgotten.”

Local locations sites are:

• Faith Baptist Church, 740 E. Russ Road, Greenville; Nov. 14-18, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.; Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to noon; Nov. 20 from noon to 2 p.m.; and Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to noon.

• Pleasant View, 5231 Gettysburg-Pitsburg Road, Greenville: Nov. 14 and 15, from 2 to 7 p.m.; Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Nov. 17 and 18, from 2 to 7 p.m.; and Nov. 19-21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hours are subject to change. A full list of area collection locations can be found online.

The Operation Christmas Child Shoebox 5K will also be hosted by Immanuel Baptist Church, 500 W. South St., Arcanum, today, starting at 9 a.m.

Race day registration is available with cash prizes for overall winners; cost is $15 and a filled shoebox. Online registration is available at: This is a joint project with Faith Baptist Church in Greenville and Immanuel here in Arcanum.

“Not into running? That’s okay, you can still donate a shoebox,” said a spokesperson.

National Collection Week is Nov. 14-21.

More information can be obtained at or https://www.samaritanspirse/org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ or by calling 937-548-1808.

Advocate graphic Area groups are collecting toys and helping those in need for the upcoming Christmas season. graphic Area groups are collecting toys and helping those in need for the upcoming Christmas season.

By Linda Moody

[email protected]

This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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