EDWARDSVILLE — It’s that time of year again — gift-giving season.

As you start to check family and friends off your Christmas shopping list, please consider adding just one more — a child in need.

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Every holiday season, organizations large and small hold toy drives to collect donations of new and unwrapped toys and other needed items (clothing, shoes) for children of all ages and this year Madison County Community Development (MCCD) will join them in collecting items.

“Unlike other toy drives, MCCD’s is different,” Homeless Coordinator David Kerr said. “We know exactly who is getting the toys.”

MCCD put up a tree in the lobby of the Administration Building, 157 N. Main St., Edwardsville, IL 62025 with “ornaments” on it that include the ages and items that children would like for Christmas. The new items will go to boys and girls whose families have or are experiencing homelessness and are currently part of the county’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program.

“There are more than two dozen kids’ names on the tree,” Kerr said.

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Kerr said the children who will be getting the toys are in transition from living in a homeless shelter into permanent supportive housing

MCCD is asking the public to take an ornament from the tree, purchase the items, and then return the unwrapped items and place them in the boxes under the tree. Children ages range from 1 years old to mid-adolescence.

“Every child deserves to experience the joy of Christmas,” Kerr said.

The deadline for MCCD ornaments is Dec. 18th. Monetary donations and gift cards will also be accepted and can be dropped off in the Administration Building, Suite 312.

MCCD is also helping the Child Advocacy Center collect items for their holiday baskets. The items collected for the CAC go toward families that used the center during the past year.

The CAC is requesting items that are new and sealed in their original packaging to include: gift cards, canned goods, instant potatoes, canned gravy mixes, cranberry sauce, cookies/cookie mixes, dressing/stuffings, juices, muffin mixes, cereals, tea/coffee/hot chocolate. Family friendly games/books/toys, gifts for children ages 3 to 12, gifts for teenagers 13 to 17, large laundry baskets, disinfecting wipes, cleaning supplies and laundry detergent.

CAC donations will be collected until Dec. 8th. Items for the CAC can be dropped off in the boxes located in the Administration Building Lobby, or at CAC, 101 E. Edwardsville Road, Wood River, IL 62095 or contact the CAC at (618) 296-5390 for more information.

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