Le­gion mem­bers give back to PCSO’s Toy Ex­press pro­gram

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­hoo.com

Thanks to the Toy Ex­press drive and Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 86, many Polk fam­i­lies could wake up to their big­gest Christ­mas ever.

The char­ity, held an­nu­ally by the Polk County Sher­iff’s De­part­ment, al­ready ben­e­fits hun­dreds of chil­dren, but the Le­gion’s re­cent mone­tary do­na­tion means more presents un­der even more trees.

The Le­gion held a din­ner and for­mally pre­sented the check to Sher­iff Johnny Moats be­fore their De­cem­ber 13 meet­ing.

While the de­part­ment is al­ways ac­cept­ing of new, un­wrapped toy dona­tions, re­ceiv­ing money means the group can pur­chase items for ap­pli­cants of spe­cific gen­ders and ages that have al­ready signed up.

Those in­ter­ested in con­tribut­ing ei­ther can con­tact the Sher­iff’s De­part­ment at 770-7492900 or by vis­it­ing at 1676 Rock­mart High­way, Cedar­town.

The char­ity met its ap­pli­ca­tion dead­line on Dec. 14, but those in need of hol­i­day as­sis­tance may still be able to re­ceive toys in the event of left­overs.

Par­ents must prove cus­tody and need of as­sis­tance and must not be re­ceiv­ing aid from an­other char­ity- among other rules. Any items not given away this year will in­stead be saved for next year’s Toy Ex­press.

“They can’t sign up af­ter­wards, but if they come up and they can ver­ify that they’ve got kids in need, we’ll try to help them out,” Moats said. “The cut­off is 12 - its harder to buy for teenagers. We will dou­ble check to make sure they’re not re­ceiv­ing aid else­where. We’ve been do­ing it for about 20 years, and we only help fam­i­lies from Polk County.”

Ap­prox­i­mately 230 ap­pli­cants had been ac­cepted by the Dec. 13 meet­ing, and by Christ­mas day, Moats ex­pects that num­ber to rise above even last year’s ap­prox­i­mately 270 ap­pli­cants.

This wouldn’t be the first time Post 86 has con­trib­uted to a lo­cal char­ity, and the group even plans to re­vive their own per­sonal hol­i­day drive next year.

“We’re go­ing to do­nate $2,500 tonight,” Le­gion Post 86 Com­man­der Tim­o­thy Hayes said be­fore of­fer­ing the money. “All of that money came from our mem­bers and dona­tions right here at this build­ing, so ev­ery­one needs to give them­selves a pat on the back. You’re do­ing a great deed. From ev­ery­thing from the coats, to the food, to this right here.”

Moats and his ac­com­pa­ny­ing of­fi­cers were asked to the front of the room, and sur­rounded on both sides by Le­gion mem­bers, Hayes of­fered the funds.

“On be­half of Post 86 and it’s mem­bers who did all of this for the past 8 months, and all the other count­less dona­tions we’ve done: Sher­iff, I’d like to do­nate this check,” Hayes said.

More in­for­ma­tion on Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 86 and it’s hap­pen­ing can be found at https:// www.face­book.com/ Ge­or­giaPost86/.

“I just want to say thank you,” Moats said. “With­out peo­ple like you, we couldn’t do this. We’ve had a lot of donors this year, but this is the big­gest one so far.”

/ Sean Wil­liams

The Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 86 in Cedar­town pro­vided a do­na­tion for the Polk County Sher­iff’s Of­fice an­nual Toys Ex­press pro­gram, pro­vid­ing gifts for chil­dren dur­ing the hol­i­days.

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