Thursday, December 06, 2001

Holiday giving off at Urban League

Toys for Tots, food drive bail them out

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A youth program of the Greater Cincinnati Urban League is experiencing a slowdown in donations this holiday season.

        So the group is banking on both the Toys For Tots program of the Marine Corps Reserve and a food drive Tuesday to help the Youth Empowerment Career Advancement Program.

        Toys for Tots has started distributing toys and Maj. Gerald Miller thinks the group will serve as many people as last year.

        “We gave out 60,000 toys last year,” he said. “We have had a shortage, as well as many other organizations. I can't say it is because more contributions are going toward disaster relief or just hard times.”

        Toys For Tots was started in 1947 and is a national program.

        Mark Hughes, case manager and instructor for the Urban League, a civil rights organization, said it has given its list to Toys For Tots.

        “We hope to give out about 200 to 300 toys this year and hopefully we can feed 200 families through our Feed The Family program,” he said.

        He said a canned-food drive is planned noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Urban League's office, 3458 Reading Road in Avondale.

        “We hope we can get help from local businesses this year. We would like to give families a hot lunch through the Feed The Family Program and perhaps give them a food basket,” Mr. Hughes said.

        To help, call Lillian Smith Knox at 487-6515.

        Toys for Tots is at 3190 Gilbert Ave. in Walnut Hills.


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