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Toys for kids reflects holiday spirit

With the holidays right around the corner, the 24th annual Toys For Kids program in Maplesville began accepting applications Wednesday.

Since it was started by former Maplesville Police Chief George Smith in 1992, it has become a tradition and a continued source for community generosity.

Last year the program received more than $7,780 and provided gifts for 86 children from 34 families.

“So many families have been helped through the years, and none of it would be possible without the generosity of all who have given,” Maplesville Town Clerk Dawn Smitherman said.

Those looking to become a beneficiary of the program can do so by picking up an application at Maplesville Town Hall, and will be available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In order to be considered, the entire application must be completed. Applicants are required to provide a copy of the birth certificate for each child listed; verification of food stamps, if applicable; along with a copy of the most recent payroll checks for both parents; and a non-refundable $2 application fee.

Every step of the process plays an important role in ensuring the program’s lasting influence in the lives of fellow families. The application fee serves as a donation, and a reminder that every dollar helps fund the program’s future.

The full results of the program are experienced at Christmas, but the work begins a month prior. This is a message that director Cindy Brown would like to relay to the people of Maplesville and the surrounding area

“Unfortunatley, people will wait and not really think about Christmas until it gets closer to time,” Brown said. “Anybody that knows someone in need of help, should get them to apply as soon as possible.”

According to Brown, once the deadline for applications expires, the ability to aid those in need of immediate help is diminished.

All donations must be submitted by Dec. 8. Any donations made after the deadline will still be accepted and used toward the 2016 operation.

For those interested in contributing, monetary donations as well as new or unopened toys will be accepted. Donations are tax deductible and will not be turned down.

“We receive monetary donations from residents, businesses and churches,” Smitherman said. “Local businesses have donated new toys, and various groups have hosted roadblocks in town to help collect donations.”

Toys may be dropped off at Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, while monetary donations should be mailed to P.O. Box 9, Maplesville AL. 36750. Anybody with questions about the program is asked to call Town Hall at (334) 366-4211.