Fairfield schools collect donated toys for area foster children

Fairfield school students are hoping to help area foster children have a brighter Christmas by working hard to fill a giant truck with donated toys.

The 10,000-student Butler County school district is wrapping up its annual toy drive with collection points at Fairfield’s 11 schools.

More than 1,300 donated toys were collected last year in the “Ton Of Toys” drive and distributed through Butler County’s Children Services to foster kids throughout the county.

This year’s goal is for 2,000 donated toys, said Nina Rose, school nurse for Fairfield High School and founder of the toy drive 11 years ago.

“The kids at the high school go crazy over this,” said Rose of the dozens of teenage volunteers working on the charitable drive.

Gina Gentry-Fletcher, spokeswoman for Fairfield Schools, said the annual drive is organized by members of Students Against Destructive Decisions, an after school club at Fairfield High School.

“Thousands of toys have been donated since the drive’s inception over 10 years ago and each year participants find creative ways to encourage students and staff to donate,” said Gentry-Fletcher.

“This year, the admission price to a girls and boys junior varsity and varsity basketball games the week of Dec. 6 will be waived if fans bring a toy to donate at the door. Competitions for the most toys donated will earn classes a pizza party, and entry into a raffle for prizes. The drive ends Wednesday, Dec. 11,” she said.

“Donations will be collected from each school and taken to the high school. Representatives from Butler County Children’s Services will come to pick up the toys to in a large truck and distribute the toys to children in the foster care system,” she said.

“The toy drive is an excellent way for our students and staff to make the holiday a little brighter for Butler County foster children. They are showing what they’ve learned about kindness, empathy, and making a difference in someone else’s life,” said Gentry-Fletcher.

That’s a key part of the drive, said Rose.

Some students at the high school, she said, “are always shocked that someone they are sitting next to in class – or walking next to in the hallway – is a foster child who often goes home every day to nothing.”

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