While a handful of organizations solicit toys for local children, the Nevada Highway Patrol wants to “Cram the Cruiser” with items for Churchill County’s senior citizens.
The Iron Order Motorcycle Club of Nevada kicks off the giving part of the Christmas season by hosting its fifth annual Fallon Toy Run from Tu Brothers Motorsports on the Reno Highway to the American Legion on 90 N. Ada St.
Every year, motorcyclists — and even those who prefer to drive an automobile, truck or SUV — are invited to participate in the run hosted by IOMC Rockin’ 12 by bringing one new unwrapped toy per bike or vehicle. The toys will be donated to the local Toys for Tots program.
Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the run begins 30 minutes later with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus leading the riders.
As the riders are heading toward the American Legion, troopers from the NHP’s district office in Fallon will Cram the Cruiser on Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Fallon Walmart and 1-7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Fernley Walmart.
Sgt. William Ferguson said the aim is to fill the car with donations that will help each community’s senior citizens.
He said items that are needed for the seniors include non-perishable food items, paper goods, warm blankets, clothing, household needs, magnifying products fun things and any item to spoil or pamper the seniors.
Cindy Munoz has been organizing the toy collections for the Toys for Tots program, a national program sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
She said the Toys for Tots program is appreciative of community members and the Iron Order Motorcycle Club for tis support.
Toy barrels and boxes also are located around Churchill County.
“We’re doing pretty good for this time of year,” she said about the toy collection.
Munoz said toys collected in Fallon, Fernley and Silver Springs stay in those areas.
The deadline for submitting toys is Dec. 13, and Munoz said the toy giveaway will be Dec. 20 at the Beverage Mart.
The Wishing Tree program, though, is seeking more people to help children.
“We still have plenty of children who need to be adopted,” said Dawn Ballard.
She said trees with children’s names on them are located at CC Communications (1750 W. Williams Ave.), Fallon Auto Mall, U.S. Bank and Nevada State Bank. She said about 300 children are in need.
“We also have donations coming in,” Ballard said.
While donations are coming in from individuals, Ballard said the program lost two “big contributors” from previous years.
The Wishing Tree program helps eligible and less fortunate residents of Churchill County with their gift giving. Ballard said the CC Communications Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association shops in Churchill County and all donations received are used within the community.
The Churchill County Social Services and Wishing Tree volunteers will hand out toys on Dec. 22 at the Nevada Army National Guard armory on East Richards Street.
For information call Dawn Ballard at 775-217-8773 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
No Strings Attached Community Services will be giving away good used toys, books, children’s clothes and Christmas decorations that have been donated.
“This is our 11th year giving toys away for Christmas,” said Carol Bock, one of the organizers. “Last year, we helped supply Christmas gifts to 350 kids. We are hoping to be able to help even more this year. “
Bock said the group is accepting donations of new or used toys, books, electronics, DVDs, children’s clothes, wrapping paper and Christmas decorations through Dec. 19. The church is still taking donations through Dec. 19. Drop them off at CLC or call Bock at 775-427-2367 to arrange for pick up.
The Gifts for Giving is Dec. 20 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the multipurpose building behind the Christian Life Center, 1435 Kaiser St.
Anyone who needs good, used items to give to their children will find that these items are free.
“We have been collecting toys all year and have two storage sheds full, thanks to Spring Valley Rentals, which has donated the use of the sheds,” she said. “Big Boys BBQ will be providing a free lunch for everyone during the give-away. Fallon Family Chiropractic is donating nice sweatshirts.”
The Salvation Army is another organization helping the families of Churchill County by offering assistance for those who may need emergency lodging, help in paying utilities or food.
Chris Miller, associate pastor for 14 years at First Southern Baptist Church and an active member of the Fallon Ministerial Association who oversees the group’s funds, said any donated money given to the Salvation Army remains in Fallon.
Across the United States, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettles program and Walmart are partners to solicit funds during the holiday. Miller said three-member teams man the kettles at Fallon Walmart for two-hour shifts.
“We’re always looking for volunteers to help, and they come from all walks of life,” he said. “We have bell ringers who have been clients in the past and now they can give back. We also have volunteers from First Southern filling those slots.”
Miller also said the regional Salvation Army will not do a toy collection program because of efforts conducted by local organizations.
He added that volunteers from other churches have also donated their time.
The local number for the Salvation Army is 775-423-9220. An on-call person mans the phone at all times.