All month long, individuals can drop off new or barely used gifts in collection boxes scattered throughout the city, with all toys staying in the Clyde-Green Springs Schools district to benefit local children.
They’re distributed to needy families on Thursdays in December at the city’s Back Door Food Pantry, at 803 1/2 McPherson Highway, if their income qualifies them to use the pantry.
“It’s very much a need in our community,” said Kay Dick, who organizes the event.
“Caring for Clyde Kids” is celebrating its 20th year. In 2012, it collected and distributed more than 600 toys and assisted 127 families, for a total of 328 children.
It started as a small fundraiser project at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Clyde, where Dick worked as a secretary for 35 years before the school closed in 2011 because of dwindling enrollment numbers.
With the help of the local community, “Caring for Clyde Kids” nonetheless forged on.
Mail donations to:
Kay Dick, “Caring for Clyde Kids,”
145 Nelson St., Clyde, 43410
Donors can also drop off gifts at the following Clyde locations:
• Clyde-Green Springs Schools buildings
• St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Croghan Bank
• U.S. Post Office, city building, city finance office and other local businesses.
For more information, call Dick at 419-547-8014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
• Can appeal to newborns through age 18 and be in new or perfect condition.
• Popular or needed items include “Duck Dynasty” items, Transformers, Rainbow Loom, fishing poles, grooming products, kitchen sets, trucks, tractors, lava lamps, Barbie accessory items, sports gear, tents, dinosaurs, zoo animals, cars, shoes, batteries and Clyde-Green Springs Schools merchandise.
• No stuffed animals. Barbie dolls and board games should be limited.
“When it first started, we would just help people in our parish and it all spread through word of mouth,” Dick said. “As the kids kept collecting and we kept getting more and more toys, I finally solicited the food pantry to help us because we didn’t know where they should go.”
“Caring for Clyde Kids” has now grown into a large collaboration among local organizations and churches, Dick said. The city’s Christmas-Fest Committee and Business Professionals of America group provide support, along with police and firemen.
Clyde police Officer Dana Widman and Sgt. Dennis Hall work together to operate the Back Door Food Pantry. The organization relies solely on donations and volunteers, which allows it to offer seasonal gifts, such as Christmas toys from the “Caring for Clyde Kids” collection and coats to prepare for cold weather.
“We have some tried and true people who donate often to the cause and send in money or items to the pantry,” Widman said. “It’s a nice way to hep out the community. With the economy the way it is, it’s very tough for some people right now.”