The Holiday Toy Drive's organizer announced that she needed more last-minute funds to grant wishes for children before the drive's distribution is held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
County Administrator Robbie Dickerson, who is leading the effort for the fourth year, briefed the Walker County Commission on Monday about the status of the drive, which has signed up 65 children up to age 14.
"If anyone would like to make a donation, we will definitely need that support this year," Dickerson said. "We are running a little short."
On questioning from District 1 Commissioner Keith Davis, Dickerson said money is needed in by Wednesday "if at all possible," saying if she had to shop Friday night, she will. Checks can be made to the Walker County Toy Drive, although the checks will go though Deidre Tatum, the executive director of the Walker County Community Action Agency. No county government funds are used in the process.
Sponsors for the event include the Walker County Commission, the City of Jasper, Jasper Main Street and the Jasper Water Works and Sewer Board. It also is partnering with Walker County Acts of Kindness. Applications and distribution are handled by the Community Action Agency, which cross references with other relief agencies to make sure the people helped are not getting help from other agencies.
The toys will be distributed during a fun day Saturday set at the site of the Community Action Agency's After-school program, near Lamar Glass, at 1804 Sixth Ave.
Davis asked how short officials were.
"We're short $2,000 to fulfill the list" for some children with needs. "That would give us a total of $3,000 donated if we came up with $2,000."
Chairman Jerry Bishop said, "You've got half of that," indicating later he was making a private donation, urging commissioners to come up with the rest. A number of other commissioners after the meeting also was seen trying to give Dickerson money as private donations.
Dickerson said after the meeting the needs were particular larger as a number of parents requested bicycles for their children. "That is not a cheap thing to do," she said. "For about 10 or 15 children, that will take the $1,000 we got" before Monday.
She said due to that need, the drive could use all the money it can raise at this point to fulfill wishes for the children, especially if more children happen to show up.
While items would still be accepted, she urged people at this point to give money as wish lists are drawn up and the drive can "make every dollar count."
If anyone feels that they have to give an item, "you can't go wrong with Legos" as that is a top request. Footballs, basketballs and video games were also big requests. Gift cards are also accepted.
Although she asked items or money be turned in by Wednesday, she said she would still take last minute gifts and financial donations through Friday.
Holding the distribution now "gives the parents time to finish their lists. They take what we can afford to provide and they can fill those gaps," Dickerson said.
Donations of any type can be brought to the Community Action Agency's office at 644 19th St. W. in Jasper and at the Walker County Commission office in the Walker County Courthouse annex across from the Jasper First United Methodist Church.
For more information, one may look at the Facebook page or email at email@example.com. They may also call Dickerson at 205-302-8063.