Red barrels go out for Christmas toy collection in Medina

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Medina firefighters arrive at the First United Methodist Church of Medina on Monday to load the MAAC red barrels for delivery to local churches and the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library. From left are Captain Matt Jackson and firefighters Tim Miller, Adam Fisher, Jacob Crooks, Joe Simmons and Aaron MacKenzie.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 7 November 2018 at 8:23 am

Aaron MacKenzie loads a red barrel in an ambulance Monday for delivery to a local church, where it can be filled with gifts and toys for MAAC’s Christmas Box program.

MEDINA – Monday was a “Red Barrel” day for the Medina area.

It was the day Medina firefighters delivered 30 MAAC Christmas barrels to select locations throughout Medina and Knowlesville.

The MAAC Red Barrels are a familiar site each Christmas season in local churches and the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library.

For dozens of families, the barrels mean they will have a Merry Christmas.

The barrels will remain in the community, where they can be filled with non-perishable food items, hats, mittens, scarves, socks, stuffed animals, toys, books, games and puzzles.

On Dec. 10, firefighters will collect the barrels and return them to the First United Methodist Church (the former Apple Grove location), where volunteers will sort the donations and pack Christmas boxes for the families who have applied for holiday assistance.

Firefighters who helped deliver barrels Monday were Captain Matt Jackson, Tim Miller, Adam Fisher, Jacob Crooks, Joe Simmons and Aaron MacKenzie.

Several of the firefighters, like Crooks who has been with the department since 2009, had helped before, but for MacKenzie, this was his first time.

“This looks like a very good program,” he said.

Families may apply for holiday assistance from 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 8 and 15 and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 13 and 20 at Calvary Tabernacle Assembly of God, 324 Catherine St.; or from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 13 and 20 and 10 a.m. to noon Nov. 6, 13 and 20 at St. Peter Lutheran Church, 1355 West Ave.

Applicants must bring proof of household (birth certificates, Social Security cards or benefit cards); proof of residence (water, electric, phone or gas bills); and proof of income (Social Services award letter, SSD or SSI award letters or WIC card/pay stubs).

Food boxes and gifts will be delivered between 9 a.m. and noon on Dec. 15.

Sue Metzo with Medina Area Association of Churches stands by the dozens of red Christmas barrels which were delivered to local churches on Monday by members of the Medina Fire Department. Barrels will be filled with toys and gifts for children and picked up and returned to the First United Methodist Church of Medina on Dec. 10.

Sue Metzo, who volunteers with MAAC, said they are seeing more and more working people who just aren’t earning enough to live on.

Last year, 112 families (163 children) received holiday assistance, as well as 43 senior citizens.

Not only do children receive age-appropriate gifts and clothing, but families receive food for Christmas dinner.

“Our biggest concern is while we receive many toys for small children, we receive almost nothing appropriate for teens,” Metzo said.

The MAAC Christmas program serves children up to age 18.

Metzo also stressed for people who make cash donations to take note of MAAC’s new address, which is 536 Orient St., Medina, 14103.

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