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Drive Needs More Toys, Wrapping Paper

Volunteers with the St. Luke's LifeWorks 2010 Holiday Gift Collection are all set to wrap thousands of gifts for needy children throughout Fairfield County. But before they get started, organizers say more presents are needed. The community has been generous, providing toys and other items for youngsters. But 700 more gifts are needed to reach the goal of two presents for each of the 2,500 area youngsters helped.

The children served are infants through age 13 who live in poverty and may be affected in some way by HIV/AIDS and/or homelessness. All the children are clients of at least one of 35 agencies in Fairfield County, and many will receive only the gifts from the St. Luke's LifeWorks collection project, organizers say.

Agency volunteers come from towns throughout Fairfield County, including Stamford, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk and Wilton.

"It's so upsetting that there is a chance that the kids who need it most may go without if everyone in our community doesn't chip in to help to add a smile to a child's face," Stamford resident Jackie Dixon said in a statement. Dixon has been volunteering with the project more than 10 years. She and other volunteers will participate in gift-wrapping parties Dec. 4 and 11.

All slots for the wrapping parties are filled, but volunteers and contributors who wish to support the project in other ways are welcome. In addition to gifts, donations of wrapping paper, scissors and tape are needed, as is help sorting and shopping for gifts. Sponsorships of specific children are encouraged, and suggested toy lists are available online .

Donations of toys may be delivered through Saturday to St. Luke's LifeWorks Center for Children and their Families, 141 Franklin St., Stamford. Many more drop-off locations are available in Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston and Wilton.

For more information, call 203-388-0103 or send an email to holidayhelper@stlukeslifeworks.org .

Do you make an effort to donate a toy or money or more for needy children for the holidays? Do you donate a toy that you or your children especially enjoy?

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