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Toy drive a success

Due to the generosity of citizens, businesses and volunteers, The Charlotte County Christmas Parents organization will once again be able to make Christmas a reality for children in need during its distribution day at the Randolph-Henry High School Gym on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

“It appears we are going to be able to buy a coat for each child in addition to giving a couple of toys and a stocking,” said Kay Pierantoni, who represents the Wylliesburg/Red Oak District on the  Charlotte County Board of Supervisors (BOS) and is a member of the Christmas Parents organization.

To receive this help, parents were required to complete an application and provide proof of eligibility before the distribution date.

“A challenge has been that some parents have completed the application, but not provided proof. Unfortunately, we will not be able to assist in this case,” said Pierantoni.

According to Pierantoni if parents or guardians arrive on Saturday and have not registered, they will be given a form to complete. “If they have proof of eligibility we will serve them after all preregistered parents have shopped,” she added. “But we will not have a coat for them.”

Over the years, the organization, run entirely by volunteers, has provided toys and even clothes for hundreds of children who would not otherwise have anything under the Christmas tree.

At one time, The Charlotte County Christmas Parents served seven counties. They have been in operation for over 20 years.

In 2018, the organization was not able to hold a distribution day, and throughout this year, members worked to re-establish its nonprofit status, becoming part of the Salvation Army.

This program is for children ages birth to age 12 who qualify. Qualifications include those children who receive free or reduced lunch, attend Head Start, receive Medicaid, or are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

For more information on The Charlotte County Christmas Parents call (434) 568- 7414.