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FYI Partners With Local Groups to Bring Christmas Joy

FYI, Bethel Churches United (BCU) and Truck N4 Tykes are once again partnering on a holiday toy and food giveaway in December. But this time, it will look a lot different due to the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help with the effort, Truck N4 Tykes will be holding a toy drive in November. 

The second annual Truck N4 Tykes/FYI Toy Run, is Saturday, Nov. 21, at Rural King (1476 Upper Valley Pike in Springfield). Participants will gather at 11 a.m. The caravan leaves at noon and goes to Bethel Community Church of the Nazarene (4440 Osborn Rd. in Medway).

Any vehicle — from cars to trucks to motorcycles, jeeps or SUVs — is welcome to join this special convoy, and drivers are urged to decorate their set of wheels for the holiday. Each vehicle is asked to provide at least one gift suitable for a child ages 0-15 ($25 or less) or at least a $20 cash donation. More than one gift or cash donation is always welcome. If you want to participate, but can’t be there for the Toy Run, call Bailey at (937) 856-3848 to make different arrangements for your donation.

There will be a drive-through, drop-off procedure at Bethel Community Church due to COVID. All social distancing protocols are recommended at Rural King as well.

“We’re not going to be inside, so people can park and bring it to us or they can drive through and drop it off,” said Bailey, who has a goal of at least 50 vehicles participating with “an ideal goal of at least 100.” Last November’s drive drew 42 vehicles, while their first Christmas In July event this summer had over 30 participate. Toys from that event will be distributed in December as well. Well over 300 toys have been collected during the two previous events.

“Our first year, we had a good turnout,” said Bailey. “Of course, I want more. We heard from the bikers (Highway Hikers of Medway who hold a similar toy drive every October), who said that it was a good turnout for the first year. This year, I’ve heard from a lot more people who are interested in showing up. There’s definitely more interest from outsiders that we don’t know, and that’s what you want.”

The toys gathered from the two 2020 toy runs plus other donations from BCU churches and the community will be pooled together to create a Christmas Toy Shop at FYI’s office (468 N. Dayton-Lakeview Rd. in New Carlisle) and distributed by appointment only on Dec. 12. You must be pre-registered through BCU to participate. Applications are taken through Dec. 4, with around 250 applications available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register, come to First United Methodist Church, 220 S. Main St. in New Carlisle, on Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. or Fridays from noon-2 p.m., the same time existent food pantries are open. Masks and social distancing are required during registration and at the toy shop, and temperatures will be taken.

Interested registrants may also qualify for a Christmas meal, 2-3-day food supply, plus assorted extras like gift cards, candy, fruits, veggies and other holiday treats. Food is picked up Dec. 21 or 22.

BCU has 11 churches and two organizations (ROTC at Tecumseh High School and American Legion Post 286 in New Carlisle) participating.

“There is so much of a need,” said Robyn Anderson, who heads the effort for BCU. “I also feel that we are meeting their needs spiritually. There have been times when I get an email or text later asking for prayer. And sometimes they will show up at my church and say they remember me. Our mission is to be a cooperative outreach ministry and to commit to the basic needs, feeding them each year.”

A shared mission, for sure.

For more information, to arrange a toy donation or to volunteer to help with the toy and food distribution, call FYI at (937) 845-0403 or email

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