Organizations helping to brighten Christmas for families

| November 17, 2015

COSHOCTON – The Salvation Army, Coshocton County Firefighter’s Association Toy Chest and The Coshocton Carol Goff & Associates office are once again helping to brighten Christmas for families in need this holiday season.

Several hundred families signed up to receive help from The Salvation Army through its Christmas Castle project.

“It’s rewarding for us to be able to help those in need,” said Major Hermas Pearl.

Volunteers will shop for Christmas Castle children ages 5-15 at Wal-Mart and those under 5-years-old will be adopted by local organizations. The families also will receive a gift certificate to help provide food for their holiday meal.

“We do this instead of a food basket so they can pick and choose what they want,” Pearl said.

This year the gift certificates are from Buehler’s but The Salvation Army tries to rotate them between the local grocery stores.

“We want to keep it all in the community,” Pearl said.

Coshocton County families needing assistance with toys for Christmas were able to sign up for help through the Coshocton County Firefighter’s Toy Chest. This is for low-income families with children ages newborn through 15-years-old.

“We assist 300 families and approximately 750-800 children,” said Laura Drake, who coordinates the program. “All children live in the Coshocton County area whether it be the city, Warsaw, or West Lafayette areas. We try and give them at least five toys but only grantee them one toy because all toy donations are based on donations from the community. When we get monetary donations we go purchase toys.”

The community can help make this project a success by donating new unwrapped toys, wrapping paper, scotch tape, or money. Toy donations can be dropped off at the Coshocton City Fire Department, 325 S. Seventh St. or the Walhonding Valley Fire District, 100 S. Bridge St. in Warsaw. Monetary donations may be mailed to the following address: Coshocton County Firefighter’s Association Toy Chest, P.O. Box 133, Coshocton, Ohio 43812.

The Coshocton Carol Goff & Associates office also is working with Toys for Tots to help families with children age 14 and under out with Christmas.

“Every year since 1947 the Toys for Tots program reaches thousands of less fortunate children and gives parents a little hope,” said Deborah Oberlin, Toys For Tots coordinator. “We do more than just toys, we provide a sense of community pride when everyone pulls together to help the Marine Corp. complete their mission of helping out those little ones who would go without on Christmas morning.”

Toys for Tots is not income based, but you cannot apply for Christmas assistance through any other program.

If someone needs assistance, they can register online at under request for toys. You also can contact Carol Goff realtors Sheila Shingleton at 740-610-5032 or [email protected] or Niza Rodriguez at 614-365-1455. Deadline to register for assistance is Friday, Nov. 20. Someone will call you back with a date, time and location to pick up toys.

Shingleton said they need to know if the children are boys or girls and their ages. When you pick up their presents you also must have the child’s birth certificate to prove that you have physical custody of them and proof of your address.

The community can pitch in with this project by donating new unwrapped toys and leaving them in boxes located at: The Beacon, Peoples Bank, Home Loan’s main branch, Buehler’s, or Carol Goff’s on Main Street. You also can make monetary donations online at

“We know from the smiles on the children’s faces and from the grateful appreciation of their parents that the simple gift of a shiny new toy – something that many take for granted can make a huge difference in the life of a child,” Oberlin said. “Hope is the key, and hope is what the Marine Corps Reserve is giving to the needy children of America through the Toys for Tots Program. Please help us put a smile on a less fortunate child’s face this holiday season, by donating, volunteering or help spreading good cheer. Pay it forward!  Semper Fi.”

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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