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DHR collecting toys, clothing for children

The Marengo County Department of Human Resources is now accepting donations for Project Merry Christmas, the organization’s toy and clothing drive, until Nov. 30.

The donated clothing and toys will benefit foster children and children in low income families. Dawn Hewitt, who coordinates Project Merry Christmas, said that clothing and toys should be for children aged 2-12.

Monetary donations are also welcome.

Individuals, churches and other organizations are welcome to participate by donating new items or “adopting” children to provide for their Christmas. Children who are not adopted will be provided for in-house by the Marengo County DHR using other donations.

“It acts as a supplement to their Christmas,” Hewitt said.

According to Hewitt, Project Merry Christmas “began in 1979 with $50” for foster children.

“It started out for our foster kids so they could have Christmas gifts, and it kind of grew from there.”

She also said that as the number of people served increased, so did the number of donations. Last year, the Marengo County DHR received over $23,000 in monetary donations alone.

According to Hewitt, as long as a family is accepted into the program, they are provided for, and last year was no exception.

“We had close to 700 people that applied for this program, and everyone got something,” she said.

Donations can be dropped off at the Marengo County DHR office in Linden on 701 S. Shiloh St. Applications for Project Merry Christmas can also be found at the DHR office. For more information, call Hewitt or Gina Killgore at 295-2000.