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Kent Toys for Joy program seeks donations

Masood Omar, 11, carries a big bag of gifts last year for the Kent Fire Department
Masood Omar, 11, carries a big bag of gifts last year for the Kent Fire Department's annual Toys for Joy program at the Kent Food Bank.
— image credit: CHARLES CORTES, Kent Reporter file photo

It's time again for Kent's annual Toys for Joy program.

Toys for Joy is an event where new, unwrapped toys are collected, sorted, wrapped, and delivered to the Kent Food Bank for distribution to needy families in the community. A portion of the toys also will be donated to other local food banks. Non-perishable food also will be accepted for distribution.

The drive is sponsored by the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority, Kent Firefighters Local 1747 and the Kent Firefighters Foundation.

Economically, 2011 has been another tough year for families. Many have to dedicate their money to the basics in order to survive and do not have the finances to buy gifts during the holidays. The Toys for Joy program was created to help these local families.

Toy-wrapping parties are scheduled for Dec. 10, 15 and 20 at Kent Fire Staton 75, 15635 S.E. 272nd St., and are open to the public. Volunteers wrapped more than 5,500 gifts last year. Contact the Toys for Joy hotline at 253-856-4485 for further information.

The Toys for Joy program can only exist with the generous donations and support of local residents and businesses. Over the years, that generosity has been tremendous. This year, because of the economy, we need more help than ever before.

The program organizers would like to issue a special thank you to USF Reddaway for their support and donation of a semi truck to help store and transport the toys as well as Door to Door Storage of Kent.

Collection barrels for toys are at the following locations:

Fire Station 71 - 504 West Crow St., Downtown Kent

Fire Station 72 - 25620 140th Ave. S.E., East Hill of Kent

Fire Station 73    - 25612 Military Road S., West Hill of Kent

Fire Station 74 - 24611 116th Ave. S.E.,  East Hill of Kent

Fire Station 75    - 15635 S.E. 272nd St., Lake Meridian (wrapping party location)

Fire Station 76    - 20676 72nd Ave. S., North Kent Valley

Fire Station 77    - 20717 132nd Ave. S.E., East Hill of Kent

Fire Station 78 - 17820 S.E. 256 St., Covington

Kent City Hall - 220 Fourth Ave. S., Downtown Kent

Centennial Building - 400 W. Gowe St., Downtown Kent

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