Georgia State Patrol supports Toys for Tots efforts

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“The Department is honored to continue our tradition of partnering with the Marine Corps and Toys for Tots. Helping children and families in need have a safe and happy holiday is just another way for us to give back to the community,” stated Col. Mark W. McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia DPS, in a news release.

With the public’s support across the state, the DPS collected about 42,587 toys and nearly $90,000 in financial contributions for Toys for Tots and similar efforts in 2015.

“Having the Georgia State Patrol help us is a great blessing,” said Richard Goodson, president of Bartow County Toys for Tots. “They always go above and beyond to make sure our campaign is a great success.

“The community always comes out to show support when we have them at our functions. [It] shows their hearts are a lot bigger than just writing tickets. We are always honored to have them support the Bartow County Toys for Tots. We would have a lot harder job, if the Georgia State Patrol were not helping us each year.”

During its distribution Dec. 17, the Bartow County Toys for Tots campaign will supply each pre-selected applicant with four gifts and a stocking stuffer. Area residents are encouraged to donate toys for this effort at collection boxes, which will be marked Bartow County and include a local Toys for Tots representative’s name and phone number.

“Our campaign will service several thousand children this year in Bartow County,” Goodson said. “We cover children from ages newborn to 13. ... The need for toys continues to grow each year. We are always in ... need of older kids toys during this season. It’s so easy to stop and pick up a younger child a toy, but sometimes people forget to help the older kids in our campaign. We ask if you are still donating this year to think about buying an older child a gift.

“Stop at any of our locations and drop it in a collection site,” he said, adding some of the collection locations include Publix, Dollar General, Sam Franklin’s Home Furnishing Center and Harley-Davidson. “We don’t want a child in Bartow County to not have a gift under the tree Christmas morning. Santa should be remembered Christmas morning for stopping at their house just as he stops at ours. Our campaigns are based on the children, and not how they got in the circumstances they are in. I believe you should never be too old to search the skies on Christmas Eve.”

He continued, “We want to thank the community for all the support throughout the years. As our campaigns grow each year, so does the generosity of the community. The more we ask, the more they give. We make sure they know, all and any toys donated in Bartow County, stays in our county. No toys are ever shipped to another county or state. All monetary donations are also spent in our community. It’s donated for our children, and it stays here for them 100 percent.”

Along with contacting Goodson at 404-593-3547, individuals interested in the Toys for Tots effort can visit its Facebook page for updates.