Legion members give back to PCSO’s Toy Express program
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.”
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.