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Medina churches have gifts collected for 151 children

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Volunteers with the Medina Area Association of Churches have toys, gifts and food boxed up and ready to given to local families on Saturday. Gregg Boose, a member of the Glad Tidings Baptist Church, spent Wednesday helping Sue Metzo, left, and Joanne Arnett with the effort. Metzo, a member of the Presbyterian Church, and Arnett, a member of the Medina United Methodist Church, are co-leaders of the annual toy drive.

MEDINA – The toys are boxed up and ready to go to 106 families on Saturday when local firefighters will make the deliveries.

For about four decades, the Medina Area Association of Churches has run the annual toy drive. This year the group of 16 churches will be giving toys to 151 children, plus 39 senior citizens will be given poinsettias and fruit baskets.

The toys are all donated by community members, who fill about 30 red barrels that are placed in businesses and other locations in the community.

“Medina is a very giving community,” said Joanne Arnett, a co-leader of this year’s effort along with Sue Metzo.

The barrels of toys were picked up on Monday and the items were taken to the Medina United Methodist Church to be sorted by age group. Volunteers then organized the toys for the 151 children on the list. They try to match the gifts with requests from the kids.

The boxes of toys will be delivered on Saturday morning by local firefighters.

“So many people go through hard times and fall through the cracks,” said Metzo, who has volunteered the past decade with the effort.

Toys are organized to go to 106 families on Saturday.

Last year, the MAAC drive served 82 families. The number is up to 106 this year. Metzo said many of the families are the “Working Wounded,” where parents have jobs but don’t make enough money to cover all of their expenses.

MAAC starts signing up families in September for the toy drive. Families will receive gifts for each child at their age level, as well as a book, board game, puzzle and stuffed animal. Each family also receives a ham dinner, and socks, mittens, scarves and hats.

Gregg Boose is a new volunteer in the annual effort. He was needed on Wednesday to move many of the heavy boxes full of gifts.

“They needed help and it’s for a good cause,” said Boose, a member of the Glad Tidings Baptist Church.

The Medina Area Association of Churches also runs the Clothing Depot in the Calvary Tabernacle Assembly of God at the old high school, 324 Catherine St.

The depot is open eight hours each week and is staffed by church volunteers. The clothing sales generate about $35,000 annually and that money is donated back to community causes and organizations, including the Care Net Family Center in Albion, Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, Medina Police Department, Orleans County Christian School, Hospice of Orleans, and missions programs through local churches.