ELYRIA - The Elyria Pioneers have chipped in to help make the holiday season a little extra special for some local, less-fortunate children.
With the help of Elyria High School staff and students, presents have been collected throughout the school to help fill up the Not-Forgotten Box.
It`s a first for the school to donate presents as a group, associate Principal Brett Heighberger said, and more and more students have gotten involved.
"We thought it would be a great way to give back to the community that`s been so supportive of us," he said. "Students keep bringing stuff in, and the boxes keep getting filled up."
The generous holiday spirit includes the likes of school groups such as the Elyria High School Band Boosters, which took pride in chipping in to help - raking in three tables full of presents ranging from remote control cars to hats and gloves.
"We wanted to show the community that we liked to get involved," said Debbie Warden, president of the band boosters. "It made it more personal to do it as a group. It gave everybody that sense that we had to get it done."
This year, nearly 900 families, or 3,400 individuals, are in need of Christmas and holiday assistance, according to the Salvation Army. So far, a little more than 2,300 toys have been collected toward the goal of 10,000.
The Chronicle-Telegram will be accepting donations for the Not-Forgotten Box through Dec. 18, and new toys for young children and items for children up to age 14 are needed.
Gifts can include hats, mittens, scarves, grooming aids, cosmetic kits, pen-and-pencil sets, sports items, watches, games, puzzles, purses, gift cards, movies tickets and so on.
Donations should not require batteries, and they should not be wrapped because they are distributed according to age and interest.
Donations for the Not-Forgotten Box will be accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays at The Chronicle-Telegram.
Donations also may be made at the Salvation Army 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
This Saturday, The Chronicle will sponsor one more special drive-through, drop-off donation day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the back parking lot.
Elyria High School senior Darcy Warden said when in doubt, pick on some friends to encourage them to donate.
"Kids that don`t have much would love to have anything," she said.
Contact Stephen Szucs at 336-4016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.