Annual VCAD toy drive now taking donations

Saturday, November 21, 2009
The Phi Beta Lambda chapter, Adult Business Technology class at the Nevada Regional Technical Center is participating with the Vernon County Ambulance District in its annual toy drive. The class will help with the many tasks involved in making the drive as success as it has been for the past 20 years. From left: Kim Matthews, Marybelle Rice, Nancy Jeffries, Mistie Fisk, Yolanda Smith, Delaine Roll, Lisa Long, Jeanie O'Brien, Ellen Smith and Jeri Senkevech. --Steve Moyer/Herald-Tribune

The Vernon County Ambulance District is getting a helping hand this year with their annual toy drive from the Phi Beta Lambda chapter, Adult Business Technology class of Nevada Regional Technical Center. Jeri Senkevech, district secretary, said the help was greatly appreciated, especially in light of the economy.

"We're anticipating that the numbers needing help this year will be higher because of the economy," Senkevech said. "The help they give us is really appreciated, they will help with sorting the toys and distributing them as well."

As in the past, anyone wishing to sign up for the toys needs to go to Community Outreach, 229 North Cedar, which handles all the paperwork and coordinates between agencies. The district is trying to get up to speed quickly, the toys will be distributed Dec. 18, and the process is always hectic.

"People need to sign up as soon as possible," Senkevech said. "We want to kick this off right Dec. 18 will get here really fast and we want to be ready."

"Barbara Long does the screening process for the project," director James McKenzie said. "There are people out there who won't go to Community Outreach for themselves but will for their children."

The toy drive gives presents to needy children up to 12 years of age, when another group, Teen Angels, takes over for those over 12. The ambulance drive looks for new toys, but no clothes.

"We're looking for toys for boys and girls that are appropriate for the ages we serve," Senkevech said. "We don't accept clothes, however. That would just be too complicated."

The district has solicited donations for the drive but they also work for some money, they have been selling firewood to help raise money.

"We've been selling firewood as a fund-raiser," Senkevech said. "There are limited quantities so people need to order quickly, it's only $40 a rank."

There are toy collection barrels throughout the community and people can drop off presents at the ambulance district headquarters any time. Senkevech thanked Dollar General in particular.

"We have boxes at both Dollar General stores," Senkevech said. "They have been a real help."

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