Patty Hanle, co-chair of the Jefferson County Toys for Tots program, said the organization is asking for a little help this holiday season.
"As you know, many families in this area are having some financial difficulties and the need for assistance at Christmas time, especially for toys, is greater than ever this year," Hanle said.
"Last year, we helped more than 800 families, and we were very appreciative and grateful that we, with the help of businesses and organizations in the Jefferson County area, were able to meet their need," she said.
The program is looking for schools, businesses, organizations and individuals to help collect toys or provide monetary donations with information available by contacting Hanle at (740) 266-7652 or Deb Oberlin of the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots at (330) 418-7516.
Businesses, for example, can display a box for toy donations, make monetary donations or sponsor a fundraiser, according to Hanle.
The program is getting response to its plea, according to Hanle.
The Fort Steuben Mall, for example, is sponsoring a toy drive for Toys for Tots on Black Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. all three days.
"For every toy donated, they will get a chance to win a $50 Fort Steuben Mall gift certificate. The winner will be drawn at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The winner need not be present," Hanle explained.
The donation area at the mall will be in front of Toys R Us.
Several businesses have set up toy collection boxes, including Dollar General and Big Lots in Wintersville and Advance America Cash Advance, Toys R Us and QDA Learning Center, all in Steubenville.
Bob Evans in Steubenville, meanwhile, will host a "Community Fun Night" on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. "If you go to their restaurant with the participating voucher, they will donate a percentage of your tab to Toys for Tots," Hanle said.
Bishop John King Mussio Elementary School is organizing a fundraiser to benefit the program, too, Hanle added.
The Wintersville Volunteer Fire Department is hosting bingos for the organization, according to Hanle. "Part of the proceeds from their annual boot drive will be donated to us, and they graciously allow us the use of their hall to distribute the toys to the families, and they assist us the day of the distribution and have been doing it for the last four years," Hanle said.
Since 1947, Marines have been making Christmas wishes come true for needy children, according to Hanle.