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home : columnists : betsy reason December 14, 2017

12/7/2017 4:00:00 AM
New toys needed this week for ages 5-12
The Times photo by Betsy ReasonNancy Chance needs toy donations this week.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason

Nancy Chance needs toy donations this week.

By Betsy Reason

This is a crucial week for Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County, which is having its annual Christmas Giveaway on Saturday.

Distribution prep work started Wednesday, setting up three halls of the Hamilton County Exhibition Center at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville. Then, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Friday, Good Samaritan executive director and founder, Noblesville's Nancy Chance, is accepting donations.

Chance sent out a plea this week, asking to get the word out about Good Samaritan's need for toys for ages 5-12, for both boys and girls.

Each year, she asks for new toys, but "not expensive toys," Chance said. Dolls, trucks, Matchbox cars, Transformers, action figures, educational toys and board games are among her suggestions. "I love board games because board games bring the families together," she told me. She also likes baseballs and basketballs. "We're just asking for the bare necessities."

She said the toys won't be picked out for the families, rather "the families actually make the selections," Chance said. "That's why we like to have a good selection. Nothing's left at the end. Everything's gone."

She is also taking donations of food, new clothing for sizes 5-13 and monetary donations.

"Each year, we strive to give three new clothing, three new toys, package of socks and underwear, as well as many of their choice of other gently used items and a generous food basket and extras for the family," Chance said.

Recipients of the giveaway have been prequalified or bring completed applications.

Good Samaritan annually provides holiday assistance to Hamilton County families in need. In 2016, the nonprofit served 26,980 families for Thanksgiving and Christmas distributions with the help of more than 690 private sponsors and with the distribution at the Fairgrounds, Chance said.

For this week's Christmas Giveaway, she uses the help of more than 1,500 volunteers. She uses 300 volunteers each day, today and Friday, for the prep work and another nearly thousand volunteers on Saturday for the actual Christmas Giveaway distribution.

Money and gift cards, along with food and clothing and toy donations, may be dropped off year-round 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at Good Samaritan Network, 12933 Parkside Drive, Fishers, IN 46038, or mailed to Good Samaritan Network, P.O. Box 339, Noblesville, IN 46061.

To volunteer at the Christmas distribution giveaway, sign up for time slots online at www.gsnlive.org.

For information, call Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County, (317) 842-2603.

Elsewhere in Noblesville, the Noblesville Fire Department is accepting donations through Monday for its annual Christmas Food & Toy Drive to benefit 110 less-fortunate families in Noblesville. This year marks the NFD drive's 40th anniversary. The fire department has partnered with Kroger for food needs and Meijer for toys.

The fire department is accepting canned goods, non-perishable food items, monetary donations (checks are preferred - made payable to the Noblesville Fire Department Legacy Fund), and new, unwrapped toys through Monday. Donations may be dropped off at any of the Noblesville Fire Stations or at Noblesville City Hall, 16 South 10th St. Deliveries to the families will take place on Dec. 16.

During Wednesday's Noblesville Chamber of Commerce Holiday Luncheon at Purgatory Golf Club, guests at their tables donated a total $1,045 to the NFD's Christmas Food & Toy Drive. The donations will be matched, dollar-per-dollar, by Noblesville Common Council member Greg O'Connor, senior vice president of BMO Harrison Bank.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com

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