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The Mountaineer Online

Fort Drum community members may help spread holiday cheer

Melody Everly

Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again. Families are preparing for the upcoming season by hanging lights, planning holiday gatherings, and beginning to stockpile gifts for loved ones.
For some Families, however, finding the means to provide their children with a gift can prove difficult.
Each year, members of the Fort Drum Sergeants Major Association show their appreciation for the sacrifices Soldiers and their Families make by providing toys so that every child can enjoy a happy holiday season, said Joe McLaughlin, SMA vice president and treasurer.
“Around the holidays, it seems like there is always a Family that’s struggling financially,” McLaughlin said. “If we can provide them with some toys, then they can go out and purchase something else that they need.”
The organization’s Mountain of Toys program has distributed thousands of toys to children over the last 18 years. Thanks to donations from community members and many Fort Drum and area organizations, more than 1,100 toys were supplied to more than 400 Families last year.
Soldiers can submit a request form through their unit if they need assistance with purchasing gifts for their children. Community members are asked to provide new or gently used toys for children ages 1 to 15.
Unwrapped toys may be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday until Dec. 6 at any of the four Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes community centers. They also may be dropped off at designated donation bins located within the Fort Drum Post Exchange.
Donated items will be collected and organized by 1st Brigade Combat Team Family Readiness Group members, assisted by volunteers from local Boy Scout troops.
Monetary donations also are accepted. Checks may be made payable to the Fort Drum Sergeants Major Association.
Gifts will be distributed between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 9-13 and 16-20 at Monument Ridge Community Center.
For more information, call McLaughlin at 955-6804.

The Mountaineer



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