POINT PLEASANT — For over 30 years, the Toys for Kids organization has been making Christmas happen for kids in Mason County who are in need and this year, the organization needs help to do that - a lot of help.
Brandy Barkey-Sweeney has been involved with Toys for Kids since she was a kid herself. Barkey-Sweeney said this year about 200 kids are counting on Christmas from Toys for Kids though the organization hasn’t received the first monetary donation this year.
Barkey-Sweeney said there have been groups inquiring about donating toys and a charity softball tournament that thankfully helped raise over $1,200 for the organization but when looking at making Christmas happen for 200 kids, more help is needed. It is particularly needed this year because at least one other organization which typically helped provide toys for needy children was unable to do so this Christmas - this means even more calls for help have been arriving on the doorstep of Toys for Kids.
There are ways local people can help these local kids served by the group. On Saturday, Dec. 7, Toys for Kids will be collecting donations in front of the Point Pleasant Municipal Building. Then, immediately following the Christmas Parade on Monday, Dec. 9, the event, “Cookies with Santa” will be held at the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church where monetary donations and toys can be dropped off as well. Monetary and toy donations are also accepted at Peoples Bank North Branch and the Coffee Grinder during normal business hours. In addition, those wishing to do more can call Barkey-Sweeney at 304-593-6055 and leave a message to be returned.
Most needed right now are monetary donations and items for boys ages 10-18.
Toys will be picked up Christmas Eve at the Presbyterian Church by the families who applied for assistance so the clock is ticking on gathering donations and filling those Christmas lists.
Whatever the outcome of this year’s campaign to save Christmas for many kids, Barkey-Sweeney said Toys for Kids is a local organization that isn’t going anywhere and she hopes to eventually hand the tradition down to her children to continue.