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Toy Mission begins in Pa.

October 25, 2000

Toy Mission begins in Pa.



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - While most youngsters aren't thinking beyond trick-or-treating next week, the Chambersburg Toy Mission urges parents who may need assistance buying Christmas presents for their children to plan ahead and fill out a request form at one of 19 area locations.

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The American Association of Retired Persons Falling Spring Chapter sponsors the Toy Mission, which has provided presents for hundreds of local youths since it was founded more than 50 years ago.

Last year, Toy Mission provided gifts for 850 youngsters age 12 and under in Franklin County and Shippensburg, said Charley Burch, former president of the chapter and a member of the management team of Toy Mission.

"Bicycles are invariably the most popular. It's our big specialty," said Burch, who explained that AARP members recondition old bicycles with new tires and a fresh coat of paint.

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"They look like they just came off the factory floor," Burch said. "Now when we give the bicycles we also buy safety helmets to go with them."

Roadway Express and volunteers from the Franklin County Association of Life Underwriters help distribute the toys a few days before Christmas, Burch said.

"This has been going on a great number of years and we are fulfilling a need for the community," he said. "It helps make Christmas a little brighter for people who might not otherwise have a good holiday."

Burch said individuals and local businesses donate money to buy the gifts.

Assistance is based on need, and request forms must be postmarked no later than Dec. 8.

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