It seems early to think about winter coats and toys for Christmas when fall is

just beginning, but 55 & GO and its Volunteers are thinking about these things and

doing volunteer work so coats and toys will be ready when they are needed. We also

need your help! Please bring us your good winter coats and gently used toys, bikes,

dolls, books, games, puzzles, etc.

This is our 8th year for the “I Will Donate a Good Winter Coat Project”. Last year the people of our community generously donated dozens of good winter coats, and we gave 118 of those coats to people in need. Many people in our community continue to have a need for good clothing, and a good winter coat is a must for everyone. Your good winter coats can be brought to the 55 & GO Center, 440 Locust, south of the library. The coats will be given in partnership with Livingston County Health Center, Operation Help, Area Schools and other organizations. If your organization knows of someone in need of a good coat, you are encouraged to call the 55 & GO Office also.

The 55 &GO Joy Toy Project has each year since 1984 provided toys for families in need during the Christmas season. Last year alone, 94 families with a total of 394 children in our community were able to choose toys to place under their Christmas trees. Over the years the project has become a real community effort, and we definitely need your help this year too. Its success is possible only through the generosity of you the people of this community who donate your time, new toys, or good quality used toys, bikes, dolls, books, games, puzzles, etc. The time is now, so the volunteers have time to sort, repair and clean toys for distribution. Monetary donations

to purchase hundreds of batteries and bike parts are also needed. These donations not only come from individuals, but also from businesses and organizations. Maybe you or your business or organization would like to be a part of this year’s effort. Country Carpets & Furniture continues to partner with 55 & GO Joy Toys, so that you can drop toys off there, as well as the 55 & GO Center/Threads Thrift Store, south of the library.

Volunteers work throughout the year on Joy Toys, and we would definitely be happy to have your help too. Jim Hinrichs is our volunteer in charge of bikes, and Linda Meyers is our volunteer in charge of toys. Some volunteers work here at the 55 & GO Center while others work at home to make doll clothes, doll quilts, and stuffed toys. Some take dolls home to be cleaned, repaired, and outfitted with clothing.

If you want to donate or be a part of the 55 & GO “Joy Toy Project” or the “I Will Donate a Good Winter Coat Project”, we’ll be glad to talk with you and give you more information. Donations may be brought to the 55 & GO Center, 440 Locust St. , between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. If you have a donation that needs to be picked up, call 646-0010 to make arrangements. Monetary donations should be mailed to the 55 & GO Office, P. O. Box 445, Chillicothe, MO, or may be brought into our offices at 440 Locust St.

Patty Mefford is the director of the 55 & G0 Volunteer Program.