Ottawa County toy drive enters 40th year

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OTTAWA COUNTY, Ok. — For 40 years a man in Ottawa County has organized toy drives during the holiday season.

Jerry Coach organized his first toy drive in Picher, Oklahoma, 40 years ago.

Jerry Coach, Santa Claus Program, said, “With Vicky Williams she had a cafe and the first year we did used toys.”

Simply because he wanted to make kids smile when they open a Christmas gift.

“Knowing that there were kids there in Picher that wasn’t gonna get anything for Christmas and me and Vicky we helped probably about 70 kids with used toys the first year.”

Since then he has gathered toys for children all over the Four State area.

“To Ottawa County and then Cherokee County, and then before I knew we were in Jasper and Newton County helping kids.”

This year he is working with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, collecting new toys for kids 16 years-old and younger.

Sheriff Jeremy Floyd, Ottawa County Sheriff Department, said, “I love the part of giving back to people as much as I can and you know having that feeling and in order to work with Mr. Coach on this is very humbling.”

On December 23rd, Coach and the Sheriff’s Office will give away the toys at the Boys And Girls Club Of Ottawa County.

“I thought having law enforcement at the party and stuff let the kids get to know them and talk to them,” said Coach.

“We want to let them know that we are here to help, just as much, we’re a team, we’re a community, we’re a family,” said Floyd.

If you would like to participate, donations can dropped off at the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office At 28 B Street Southeast, Miami Oklahoma or be mailed to Jerry Coach Santa Claus Program at P.O. Box 66 Commerce, Oklahoma 74339.

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