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Clayton BOC collecting toys for needy children

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) is asking for the community's help to make sure needy children have a chance to clutch a new doll, or action figure this Christmas.

The county commission launched a toy drive this week, aimed at collecting toys for children from needy families. Toys will be collected from now until Dec. 16, at sites around the county, according to county leaders. The toys are to be given to children between the ages of 6 months, and 12-years old, according to a county press release. The commission is asking that the toys be new, and unwrapped.

The toys will be distributed to children during a "BOC Toy Drive Celebration" event, on Dec. 18, from 9 a.m., to 1 p.m., at the Riverdale Town Center, which is located at 7210 Church Street, in Riverdale.

"The holiday season is a time for families and friends to come together and enjoy the company of others and show compassion to those less fortunate," Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell said, in a written statement.

According to the commission's press release, drop-off locations for toys include: The Clayton County Board of Commissioners Office, which is located at 112 Smith Street, in Jonesboro; the Shelnutt Inter-Generational Center, located at 849 Battle Creek Road, in Jonesboro; all Clayton County Recreation Centers, and all Clayton County Fire Stations.

In addition to giving out toys during the toy-drive celebration, the Board of Commissioners and various community partners are scheduled to provide health screenings, healthy snacks, fitness tips for children, and a reading corner where families will be encouraged to read books together, county officials said.

In a written statement, County Commission Vice-Chairman, Wole Ralph, said community partners for the event include the Clayton County Board of Health, Clayton County Library System, Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, Riverdale city leaders, Southern Regional Medical Center, the University of Georgia's Clayton Archway Project, Atlanta Gas & Light, the Salvation Army, "We Are Clayton" Magazine, and Positive Press PR.

"Because I really believe it takes a village to raise a child, I am delighted with the response we have received from the community," Ralph said.

For more information on the toy drive, and celebration, log onto the county's web site, www.claytoncountyga.gov/, call (770) 472-8120, or send an e-mail to cctoydrive@co.clayton.ga.us.