“It is an honor to be able to continue this program that has helped so many families in Calhoun and Gordon County,” said Courtney Taylor, director of Gordon Hospital EMS. “This year has been another tough year for many families due to the high unemployment rate, so we plan to work extra hard again this year to ensure a merry Christmas for as many Calhoun and Gordon County children as possible.”
Last year’s drive collected more than $16,000 worth of new toys. This year’s goal is $17,000.
“Paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and others will be volunteering their time collecting new toys at the entrances of Calhoun’s Wal-Mart Supercenter on Highway 53,” Taylor said. “We’ll be asking shoppers to buy an extra toy while they’re shopping and then donate it to the drive.”
Monetary donations will also be accepted, he added.
The collection schedule is Saturday, December 5 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and Friday, December 11 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The Friday Dec. 11 drive will be assisted by choral groups from Calhoun and Gordon County schools, according to Vickie Spence, executive director of the United Way of Gordon County, who each year organizes the performance schedules.
Taylor added that the student performances not only help everyone get into the Christmas spirit, but they also set an incredible example for everyone during this season of giving.
All toys collected through the annual drive will be given to the Voluntary Action Center (VAC) to distribute to qualifying families.
“The Voluntary Action Center does an amazing job helping local families during difficult times,” Spence added. “We encourage everyone to donate a new toy to this very worthy cause.”
Every toy donated through the EMS toy drive will remain in Gordon County and will be given to the many needy children who otherwise would not be smiling on Christmas morning, Taylor said.
“We’re asking everyone to open their heart this holiday season and do something special for the children of this community who need our assistance,” he added. “Help us ‘Make a Kid Smile’ this Christmas.”
In addition to new toys, Northwest Georgia Medical Group, LLC is assisting the toy drive this year by accepting minimally-used toys that will also be distributed to local children this year. Collection bins for almost-new and gently used toys have been set up at Northwest Georgia Medical Group, 400 Timms Road, and in the front lobby of Gordon Hospital, 1035 Red Bud Road.