Christmas At Home food, toy drive underway

Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:16 am

The 14th annual Christmas at Home Toy and Food drive is now officially underway in Albany and Clinton County and nonperishable food items and new toys are now being accepted, with more specific locations to be announced in the weeks ahead.

The annual event, catered to help less fortunate families and children around the holidays, specifically the Christmas season, is noted as the city/county toy and food drive and is also sponsored by WANY 100.9 FM radio, the Clinton County News, and Chamber of Commerce as well as the city and county governments.

Not only is the Christmas at Home program catered primarily to help families and children have a better Christmas, it is also to promote the local community and businesses, urging local residents to shop locally and patronize local merchants and stores during the holiday season and throughout the year.

What started out somewhat small in the early decade has now become a large annual event, with hundreds of homes and children benefiting, thanks to the generosity of local citizens, businesses, churches, groups and organizations.

For example, in 2015, 513 homes and 237 children received assistance and although the number of homes in 2016 decreased slightly, to 462, the number of children who received toys and food rose to 245.

The toy and food drive will run through December 15, ending about a week earlier than in years past, as all deliveries to homes will be made by that date.

New toys only will be accepted and the toy and food drive will run through early December.

All churches that collect food are asked to turn food in by Monday, December 4. If needed, they may contact Albany City Hall to have the collections picked up.

Boxes of food to those who are put on the “wish list” of people needing assistance will be delivered between December 10 and 15. Donations of food and/or toys can now be left at Albany City Hall and various businesses in the city and county, courthouse offices will also have drop-off boxes with specific locations to be announced in the coming weeks.

With the Christmas shopping season now underway, it would be a good time for residents to pick up a new toy, or some extra food while shopping to donate to those who could use the help around the holiday season, or monetary donations can be made and food and toys will be purchased by volunteers.

Last year, at least 35 local businesses, churches, organizations and groups donated in some way to the program, and close to a dozen locations, including stores and the courthouse had drop-box locations.

Volunteers are also always needed to help package the boxes of food and toys collected and anyone knowing of a family or children in need can contact Albany City Hall at 387-6011 to have their names put on the list for deliveries. Please designate the number of people in the household, whether adult or children, ages and sex of children, etc. and specific addresses and a phone number if possible.

Anyone wishing to help in this year’s event, would like to volunteer to help or have a collection box set up at your business should contact city hall at the above number.