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Green Good Neighbors says holiday toy drive hurting from low church attendance

Organization appeals to community for help
Green Good Neighbors holiday toy drive
Posted at 5:37 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 19:02:35-04

GREEN, Ohio — Green Good Neighbors has been helping children in need through an annual holiday toy collection for more than two decades, but this year the group is worried about not having enough donations.

Alberta Veri and Pat Stiles, who are co-chairs of the non-profit, are appealing to the public for help during a difficult year.

"It's an extraordinary year. We really need people's hearts to be softened," Veri said.

Typically, the non-profit helps out about 200 families throughout the year with food and clothing, and in September, GGN starts asking for volunteers to buy toys and clothing for struggling families.

"It's overwhelming how grateful families are," Veri said.

The families list items their children might like such as action figures, dolls or games. The wish lists are written on red cards, which are mostly distributed to area churches that fall within the Green, Coventry, Manchester and Springfield School Districts.

However, attendance has been low at many churches due to pandemic restrictions, and as a result, fewer people are signing up to sponsor kids.

"The source has always been there through the churches, and right now, it's not," Stiles said.

Stiles estimates there are still 130 unclaimed request cards, which is considered a high number for this time of year. The gift giveaway is scheduled for Dec. 8 inside Greensburg United Methodist Church.

"We're really short on people. We can definitely tell that it's down," Stiles said.

GGN is searching for other ways to find area residents who may be willing to buy gifts for the kids before the holidays.

"We want to provide a way that these children can really have a good Christmas," Stiles said.

Those interested in helping out are asked to call Green Good Neighbors at 330-899-9880.