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Photo by Ciera Hughes Franklin County Extension director Katernia Cole-Coffey and administrative support Shirley Jiminez stand with toys being collected at the Franklin County Courthouse. Collection boxes are also available for anyone wanting to drop off toys in front of the Dollar General across from the A. W. Todd Center, Dollar General in Belgreen, Tractor Supply and Al Auto Insurance, in addition to the box inside the Franklin County Courthouse.

Franklin County Extension hosts toy drive

It is that time of year again, when Christmas trees are decorated and carols fill the radio stations. To accompany the holiday cheer, the Franklin County Extension is collecting toys for children for Christmas and hosting an educational party to give gifts to children.

Franklin County Extension director Katernia Cole-Coffey said this is the first time the Extension has hosted a toy drive, but the office hosts a family night to give toys to children every year.

“A lot of times, we don’t realize there are more needy people in the area,” Cole-Coffey said. “This is really a time when we hope everyone will think of others and help.”

Franklin County Extension administrative support Shirley Jiminez said families that want to apply to receive toys can contact the Franklin County Extension.

Jiminez said although several programs offer assistance for families around the holidays, the Extension Office helps children who might not qualify for those options for any number of reasons.

“With a lot of different programs, to apply for help, a family might need to bring proof of residence or something, but a lot of these families are not eligible,” Jiminez said. “Some of these kids might not have a Social Security card to be able to get presents from these groups for Christmas.”

Jiminez said many people are unaware how many families need help who are not eligible for different programs because of their legal status.

The family night and toy distribution will be Dec. 12 at the A. W. Todd Center at 6 p.m. Families will receive education on topics such as nutrition before receiving gifts, and booths will be set up by local educational vendors.

The Extension office is collecting toys to go to children for Christmas.

Collection boxes are available for anyone wanting to drop off toys in the following locations: in front of the Dollar General across from the A. W. Todd Center, Dollar General in Belgreen, Tractor Supply, Al Auto Insurance and the Franklin County Courthouse.