Pettis County Community Santa's 2016 campaign has been going very well, according to Carol McMillan.

"I'm really pleased," said McMillan. "The community, as always, steps up. They do such a great job. We are just so grateful for all of them that have partnered with us."

Toys will be collected at drop-off sites around the area through December 16. Community Santa does need some time to sort through their donations and match up toys with children participating in the program. "We match up the toys with the specific requests that our kids come in with," said McMillan. "We also give them two books, a family game, and some things along those line, and we even try, where possible, to match those things up with their interests. It's very time consuming."

After toy collections wrap up, Community Santa will continue to accept monetary donations, which can be left at Santa's Workshop on the back side of the strip mall in the State Fair Shopping Center. Checks can also be mailed to:

Community Santa

P.O. Box 43

Sedalia, Missouri  65302-0043

Community Santa buys toys all year, so monetary donations are always accepted.

McMillan says that the group also does its best to help meet client families' needs for items other than toys, whenever possible. "If I get an order in the back, and I see where the mom has made a little note to tell us 'I really don't have a coat for my eight-year-old,' one of us is going to go out and find a coat for that eight-year-old."

According to McMillan, several local groups and organizations have made supporting Community Santa a priority at the holidays. "I always hate to name groups that have helped us, because I'm going to miss a hundred, but some that have stepped up just recently that come to mind: the Lion's Club has been very generous with us; the Telephone Pioneer group has been generous; the Women's Service League...every year they come through with a nice donation for us. The same thing is true of West Central Missouri Vintage Auto. They go the extra mile. They have their own parade. They bring all the vintage cars, they're headed up by the D.A.R.E. car, they bring those cars to us filled with toys, and then they hand us cash. There's just so many out there, let me apologize if I didn't mention your group, but we just love these people in Sedalia. They just are wonderful."

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