The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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October 17, 2013

Camanche toy drive begins

CAMANCHE — Christmas is a time of joy and goodwill to all, and the men at the Camanche VFW are working diligently to assure that all the children in their community will get to experience the joy of Christmas.

Mike Fullerton and Glenn Williams, of the Camanche VFW, have worked hard since Oct. 1 getting their Toys for Tots campaign up and running, with the hopes they can make this year, their first with the organization, a strong foundation for years to come.

“We’re hoping, no, we are going to grow this program,” Fullerton said. “We need to get the numbers back up to where they belong .”

Over the past several years, participation numbers have not been as strong as Fullerton would have liked to see, so this year, he is making it his mission to make sure every child in the program gets a little Christmas.

“The slogan for Toys for Tots is ‘every child deserves a little Christmas,’ so that’s what we are attempting to do,” Fullerton said.

He and Williams have been recruiting volunteers from all over Clinton County including, Community Action of Eastern Iowa in DeWitt and RSVP in Clinton, to join together in the Toys for Tots campaign.

Fullerton said by utilizing his connections to the community, he is able to gain support by bringing the area together, instead of each rural community having their own collections, as it has been in the past.

“Before, kids were only getting toys from their own towns. When you have a smaller town there are less people to donate and less toys to give,” Fullerton said. “If we pool everything in the county together, that will give us a lot more to choose from and a lot more to distribute evenly.”

If all goes well, according to Williams, the distribution should happen the week before Christmas. Each child enrolled in the program will receive anywhere from three to five toys, from the Toys for Tots campaign, on Christmas morning.

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