- November 5, 2019
As families joined together last week to give thanks, some found it more difficult to put Thanksgiving dinner on the table. Many local citizens are suffering with unexpected medical bills, car repair expenses, unemployment and underemployment. As the Christmas holiday draws closer, Ocoee and Winter Garden are helping families in need with their annual toy collections.
Ocoee is currently accepting registrations for the annual Holiday Toys for Kids in Need, and Winter Garden is registering children for Holiday Gifts for Kids. Both cities will close registration this Friday, Dec. 5.
The West Orange Times and Reading Reindeer are joining this effort for the 17th year and will be contributing a new book for each child in both programs — annually this is more than 900 children.
In Ocoee, registration takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ocoee Police Department, 646 Ocoee Commerce Parkway. The program is for children ages 6 months through 13 years, and the distribution will be Dec. 18. To register, applicants must be Ocoee residents and have a valid Florida driver’s license or ID card; proof of residency (a city water bill); and a birth certificate for each child (6 months to 13 years old only). For more information, contact Sgt. Mireya Iannuzzi at (407) 905-3160 or [email protected].
In Winter Garden, parents and guardians still can register children up to age 12 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Winter Garden Police Department, 251 W. Plant St. After 5 p.m., an application must be given to an officer to ensure it will be given to the appropriate department. For complete registration information and an application, visit wgpd.com/community/holiday_gifts_for_kids. For more information, contact the Community Liaison Unit at (407) 656-3636.
Unwrapped new toys and monetary donations can be taken to the police departments in both towns.
Please help the Times and Reading Reindeer give the gift and love of reading to local children this Christmas by donating a new book suitable for children up to age 15.
For more information, book drop-off locations and a donation form, see the Reading Reindeer ad on 7B or call Kathy at (407) 929-2676. Please clip out the form in this week’s issue and include it with your donation so it can be acknowledged in a future edition. Cash contributions will be used to purchase books to fulfill this year’s Reading Reindeer requests. Checks should be made payable to Reading Reindeer and sent to the West Orange Times, 720 S. Dillard St., Winter Garden, Florida 34787.
Each book given out includes a family reading brochure from the Adult Literacy League stressing the importance of reading to children, even the youngest infants, for 20 minutes a day.