LAMAR, MO.--- It's that time of year again where fire departments are accepting toys. Residents can take them to the Lamar Fire Department, where firefighters are collecting gifts for their annual toy drive. The toys are for the children of Barton County who may not receive a gift on Christmas day.
"We like to see a wide range of age different ones, something that would be beneficial, something that you'd want your child to have," said Dayne Shoff, Lamar Fire Department Engineer.
Dayne Shoff is an engineer at the Lamar Fire Department. He says the fire station will collect toys for kids ages one to 17. They haven't always been taking toy donations, firefighters use to repair bicycles.
"Sooner or later the cost of repairs just went way past what it would cost to buy a new one, so we could buy more bicycles to benefit more children," said Shoff.
The toys will be given to the Good Samaritan who will then disperse the items among Barton County families. Pat Neely is the manager at the Good Samaritan in Lamar. She says the unemployment is almost 10% and many parents can't afford gifts for the holidays.
"The people that can afford to buy even a $10 gift to bring it would be great, it would help us a great deal to be able to help all the children whose parents are not able to do that this year," said Pat Neely, Good Samaritan Manager.
She says in the past, gifts for teenagers and infants always seem to be the items that they're short on.
"Under two years because they really don't have very many items that they actually can have as a toy, because they're so small," said Neely.
Shoff emphasizes the toy drive is simply a way for every child to get a gift.
"We're all kids at heart, and every kid needs a toy during Christmas time and all the firemen feel that," said Shoff.
The fire department will take donations from now until December 16th. People can drop toys off from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Parents can sign up at the Good Samaritan until November 29th for their kids to receive gifts collected from the toy drive.
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