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Toys for needy goal of military 'operation'

November 16, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Plans for military action against Iraq may be on hold, but Operation Happy Holiday is under way at Letterkenny Army Depot.

Depot employees are being asked to donate nonperishable food and new or lightly used toys that will be given to needy families in the area, according to the depot's Public Affairs Office.

Donations will be accepted up to Friday, Dec. 4. Canisters for the food and toys are set up at various locations around the depot.

To make donating easier, volunteers will be at Gates 1 and 6 on Wednesday so that employees can make donations without leaving their vehicles. The collections will be taken between 5:15 and 7 a.m.


"We're basically asking people to bring in one canned good. If they do that, it'll be super," said Michael Bulka, a member of the Operation Happy Holiday Committee.

Bulka said the food will be distributed to local food pantries, the Franklin County Shelter for the Homeless and Women In Need Inc., but priority will be given to depot employees and families who are in need this holiday season.

The new and used toys will be distributed by the Franklin County Toy Mission, according to the mission's co-director, the Rev. John W. Stamm.

Because of the crush of requests during the holidays, Stamm said the Toy Mission has made some changes this year. Most important is that requests from families needing assistance be postmarked no later than Friday, Dec. 11.

"We have that deadline, but our hope and our plea is that families don't wait for that date to make their requests," Stamm said Sunday.

New toys are best, but the mission can handle used toys that need some work, Stamm said. "We've got a crew of people who do work on them if it's not too extensive, and a crew that overhauls bicycles."

As of last Wednesday, mission members had packaged orders for 59 families. Last Christmas the mission, run by Falling Spring Chapter 2840 of the American Association of Retired Persons, delivered holiday packages to 430 families with 1,150 children, according to Stamm.

Families wanting assistance this Christmas can call Franklin County Information and Referral at 1-717-263-0848, or 1-800-458-9800 for applications.

Other applications can be picked up from the following organizations:

* Chambersburg: The Salvation Army, 159 Lincoln Way West; Franklin County Homeless Shelter, 223 S. Main St.; South Central Community Action Program, 550 Cleveland Ave.; Keystone Health Center, 820 Fifth Ave.; and Pregnancy Ministries Inc., 497 Lincoln Way East.

* Waynesboro, Pa.: Waynesboro Human Services, 40 W. North St.; Pregnancy Ministries Inc., 237 E. Main St.

* Shippensburg, Pa.: Shippensburg Community Action Center, 65 W. King St.

* Mercersburg, Pa.: Kingdom Choices, 9271 Mercersburg Road; Mercersburg United Methodist Church, 117 E. Seminary St.; New Life Assembly and Feed My People, Blue Springs Road.

* Fannettsburg, Pa.: McMullen's General Store.

* Fort Loudon, Pa.: The Valley Market, 96 Path Valley Road.

Completed forms can be sent to: Toy Mission, P.O. Box 137, Chambersburg, Pa. 17201.

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