BY JASMINE WILLIAMS
DRESDEN (November 19) – For five years Dollar General in Dresden has been collecting toys from those in the community to donate to Santa’s Helpers. Shoppers have been asked to donate toys they have bought in the store or drop off. But this year, the community worked hard to show their support to all those in Weakley County and surrounding areas with the blessings of toys at Christmas for children.
More than 1,200 toys have been donated thus far to Dollar General with many weeks still left before Christmas. The number of toys grew so quickly that workers at Dollar General were not able to enter the office the toys were stored in. So, members of Santa’s Helpers came Friday morning to collect donated toys. These toys will be used to make Christmas goodie bags, which parents and guardians can pick up to gift to their children.
Compared to last year, the response from the community is overwhelming. “Last year we collected maybe two boxes, but this year they really picked it up. So, as we were doing it, we would sell out of what was at the register and we have a lot of new people who are really pushing it,” Dollar General Manager Brandy Newell stated.
Dollar General will continue to accept toy donations for Santa’s Helpers and team members hope the community will continue to support these efforts to bring joy to local children.
“I want to thank them because it has really helped. This year our number is growing. Last year we didn’t have as many because other agencies were doing it and we didn’t want to double dip and all. This year it doesn’t seem like there are as many agencies doing it. We take as many as we can, and I know last year we had a house fire and were packing Christmas Eve night because their gifts had burned. But we will take them, and we will take emergencies if someone is new in town or have kids dropped off they didn’t know they would have at Christmas. We will have something left over for them. We appreciate all the help we can get,” Santa’s Helpers Director Lou Ann Powers said.
Those who are in need still have time to sign their children up for the Santa’s Helpers toy give away. Powers stated that they will accept emergency children up through Christmas Eve but asks for general families to come sooner. Also saying that if any family loses their homes to fires Christmas Eve to contact her so that their children can still have a Christmas. She also noted that Santa’s will not normally be able to gift a child everything they list for Christmas, but they will do their best to ensure that each child receives some of what they want. To sign up for the Christmas program at Santa’s Helpers in Dresden, stop by their location in downtown Dresden or call 731-364-3130.