Toy and coat drive underway

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By Shaina Stockton

The Town of Independence and the Independence police and fire departments are partnering to collect toys and coats for children in the area through Dec. 1.

The annual initiative is called Independence Cares Toy and Coat Drive. Toys and coats that are collected through this effort will be loaded onto a fire truck that will be featured in the town’s annual parade at 3 p.m. on Dec. 1.

Donations are also accepted during the parade, and donors are often seen tossing last minute donations onto the truck as it rolls along the parade route.

After the parade, the truck will deliver the items to the Grayson Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #7726.

The drive ties in with the VFW’s annual Grayson County Angel Tree Project, and the donations are used to fulfill any requests that are left over after citizen donations. The VFW’s angel trees are set up at Roses in Galax and Guynn’s Furniture in Independence, and will remain up through early December.

The Angel Tree Committee ensures that each child will have their angel tree wishes granted. Monetary donations are also accepted to help the committee shop for any children that are not chosen from the angel trees.

When asked about the annual drive, Jeanette Boyer, VFW Ladies Auxiliary president, said the donations go a long way in helping children in the area have a happy Christmas.

“The toy and coat drive is a wonderful event. After the parade is over, the fire department brings the toys and coats to the building; and the volunteers and their children always help to unload the toys,” said Boyer.

Boyer noted that the children are never greedy or ask for a toy of their own. “They know what a good cause this is, and they are always excited to help,” she said.

There is still plenty of time to contribute to the effort and ensure a happy holiday for a local child. Citizens are asked to consider donating a new toy and/or a gently used or new coat to the following collection locations:

• Adams Building Supply, 1106 N. Independence Ave., Independence;

• Independence Town Office, 317 E. Main St., Independence;

• Woody’s Pharmacy, 576 E. Main St., Independence;

• Galax Gazette and Declaration office, 108 W. Stuart Drive, Galax.

For more information about the Independence Toy and Coat Drive, contact the Independence Police Department at (276) 773-3661.

For more information about the Grayson County Angel Tree Project, contact Independence VFW Post #7726 at (276) 773-3951.