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Agawam kicks off annual Toys for Tots campaign

Date: 11/25/2008

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

AGAWAM For over a decade, Mayor Susan Dawson has kept three of her children's old toys so that she will never forget the thin line between giving and receiving.

At the campaign kickoff for the Agawam chapter's Toys for Tots donation drive on Nov. 14, Dawson explained that one year a bag full of toys, including two monster trucks and a doll the toys she still keeps were dropped off at her home.

"Every year I support Toys for Tots," she said. "Many years ago when we were a military family [Toys for Tots] brought a whole bag full of toys to our garage door. I keep them [the toys] as a constant reminder of why you have to give."

Sgt. Jason Rose, coordinator for Toys for Tots, said approximately 5,000 toys have been collected already. He noted that over 40,000 toys were collected in Western Massachusetts last year.

"People are thinking about the reason for Toys for Tots and that one Christmas morning some boy or girl that will have something to open," Rocky Snow, Western Massachusetts coordinator for Toys for Tots, said. "People are thinking with their hearts and not their pockets."

Rose explained that Toys for Tots will need even more help this year because the downturn in the economy has led to an increase in needy families.

"We'll need that [the 40,000 collected last year] plus to meet the needs," Snow said.

Rose noted that there are over 100 drop sites in Berkshire Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties.

Agawam drop off locations for the Toys for Tots include the public library, 750 Cooper St., police station, 681 Springfield St., fire station, 800 Main St., the Department of Public Works, 1000 Suffield St., town hall, 36 Main St., the Office of Veterans' Services, Alexander's Restaurant, 60 North Westfield St. and Letalien Jewelers, 383 Walnut St. Ext.

The deadline to drop off toys is Dec. 19.

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