For a toy drive for tornado victims in Mayfield, Ky., Grace Church recently purchased 100 plastic bins from the Wooster Lowe store.
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“The (Lowe’s) staff were helpful and loved to load (the bins),” said Carlin Tiano, who leads Grace Church’s role in the toy drive. “We bought 100, but we’ll probably need more.
“We have at least 500 or 600 toys and we’ll probably have more over the weekend during church services,” Tiano said on Friday. “We’ll fill the bins full of toys and leave them there because that’s what they need.”
The Grace Church collection runs until Tuesday, December 21. People can drop off any toy for the collection anytime during office hours Monday and Tuesday. The church is located at 4599 Burbank Road, Wooster.
On Wednesday, December 22, around 30 or 40 volunteers will bring the toys to children in the small town in southwest Kentucky which was hit hard by the December 11 tornadoes that swept through the state, killing more than 70 Kentuckians, in a charter bus. that was given for the effort.
Another 20 or so volunteers packed unwrapped toys that were donated, and many other volunteers and people not only from Grace Church helped in other ways as well, according to Tiano.
“It was cool to see our community doing this,” he said. “We have received financial donations from everywhere: businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations. And families got involved.
“We are just happy that God is using us to bring relief to those in need in Kentucky,” Tiano added.
Grace Church member Don Gatti kicked off the toy drive with a Facebook post
The volunteers bought toys for the collection with the financial donations, said Tiano, who added that Don Gatti, a member of the church who is passionate about this kind of aid missions, had started the toy drive.
“He owns a catering construction business and takes care of families going through their worst days like this,” Tiano said. “He spoke about it on his Facebook page.
And it grew from there.
Gatti’s first post on the subject on December 11 reads: “I don’t know how to do this or what support the idea would get, but I would love to send a bunch of toys to Mayfield, Kentucky… This town has been devastated. It would be fun to put a smile on a bunch of kids’ faces. “
Gatti said the response to his post more than doubled his expectations.
“It was pretty crazy,” Gatti said. “I think we’re going to have around $ 20,000 in donations and well over 500 toys.”
“There are so many unexpected people who donated and said they would be drop sites,” Gatti added.
Not only will the bus carry Grace Church volunteers, but it will also carry Gatti’s company employees and friends from his hometown, Mount Eaton, who are also interested in volunteering. Gatti said he would drive a truck and trailer with the toys and bags to Mayfield, Ky. On the volunteer bus.
According to Gatti’s Facebook page, there are several other toy drop-off sites in Wayne and Holmes and other surrounding counties, including his company, HRN Construction and Restoration, located at 1226 Kaderly St. NW, New Philadelphia, in Tuscarawas. County. NRH can be contacted at 330-308-8070.
Grace Church, who takes financial donations for the toy drive, can be contacted at 330-264-9459.
Working with Grace Life Church in Mayfield, Kentucky
Gatti said he was in contact with a church in Mayfield, Grace Life Church, which will also be distributing toys at the same time on December 23. Gatti said the people at this church he spoke to say they “are overflowing with food, water and other essentials.”
“They need more things like chainsaws, shovels and rakes to help with the cleanup,” Gatti said.
While they didn’t mention the toys as a need, Gatti said he remembers one of the first fire restorations he did on December 23 eight years ago in Dover at which point the family were grateful when he and his family brought them gifts at the hotel. they were living after the fire left them homeless for the holidays.
“I still remember the impact it had on my kids, who were quite young at the time, to understand how lucky they were not to lose everything,” Gatti said. “And I just have a thing for children.”