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Holly Days Christmas for Children to give away 16,000 toys on Saturday

By CAROLINE GABLE

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Skinner Auto Group showroom looks like any child's dream come true with 16,000 toys lined up on table tops.

The toy store look-alike atmosphere is the result of a community- wide effort to make the holiday season a little brighter for children in need.

All year long, Holly Days Christmas for Children has been working to create mountains of gifts. This year, businesses and community members dug deep, to set a generous record number of gifts, still being counted, but over 16,000.

The gifts will be distributed Saturday morning, December 18 at 9 a.m. at The Skinner Auto Group in Herkimer.

To register to be a gift recipient, you have to call 315-360-4686 by 8 p.m. on Friday.

Over 500 families have already registered.

Four toys will be provided per child, two small and two large. Parents can pick the gifts out. Those involved, like Roger Skinner say this is the "true meaning of Christmas."

Organizer Ron Sterling has been working on charities like this for more than 20 years. When he sees people pick up gifts, he says he, "can feel thanks in their hearts," and he doesn't plan to stop the toy drive anytime soon.

Sterling says it's important for people who donate to know that the money stays local. It's spent at local stores and it goes to benefit local children.

Organizers estimate it would cost around $40,000 to buy all the donated items.

It just goes to show that when everyone gives a little, it surely goes a long way.

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