Gainesville Church raises funds for Toys for Tots one week before distribution day



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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – Residents of North Central Florida are immersing themselves in the holiday spirit while making Christmas a special time for children in need.

The CityLight Church of Gainesville hosted the “Light Up The Night” event to raise funds for Toys For Tots.

An organization official said they certainly saw fewer donations than usual this year.

During the event, community members were able to enjoy food trucks, shows and even meet Santa Claus.

“It’s about kids, Christmas and toys, so hopefully we’ll bring smiles to the faces of the people who, maybe in a season where there wouldn’t normally be so many smiles on the morning of Christmas, ”said Dennis Wait, the Toys for Tots coordinator for Alachua County.

Wait said that this year when the volunteers went out to buy toys, they noticed a price increase of 15-20%.

“So we’re hoping to fill the buckets with toys for the little ones, we’re hoping they’ll just get an overflow of toys so they can pick them up and give them to families who need them,” Allison Wicker said. , a church member who helped plan the event.

Officials said shortages of items in stores, as well as rising prices, had an impact on their fundraising.

“So I know if this affects us and our purchases, it probably affects community purchasing as well,” Wait said.

Volunteers will distribute the toys next weekend the 18th and 19th to families who have been approved for Toys For Tots.

“Our hearts overflow with joy as we help others and make Christmas special for them,” Wicker said.

If you would like to donate, click the link on our home page for more places you can drop off your donations.

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