A group of mothers who know what toys can mean to children at Christmas is once again seeking donations of new or lightly used toys in good condition to give to needy children in December.

Now in its fourth year, the Christmas Toy Give-away is a project of a Pierre-area chapter of Mothers of Preschoolers, or MOPS. The Christmas Toy Give-away takes place at the Community Bible Church gym at 1516 N. Harrison Ave. on Monday, Dec. 10, from noon to 5:30 p.m.; on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Serena Beastrom, one of the people who works with the program, said the response from the Pierre area community has been “overwhelming.”

“People like to give,” Beastrom said. “There’s just been an outpouring of gifts and help.”

 The project last year provided free toys to about 50 families, up from 40 families in 2010.

Families thus far have been allowed to take one new toy for each child, with no limit on used toys. So far there have been enough toys to go around.

The event has been a great way for the moms to give back to the Pierre area community, said Jenn Oedekoven, who helps coordinate the event for MOPS.

Oedekoven said people are welcome to donate toys for the event. Bring them to the Community Bible Church office, 1516 N. Harrison Ave., from now until Dec. 9.

“We’re asking for lightly used or new toys – toys in good condition. If it’s a used toy, we ask you to be sure that it’s not broken and that none of the parts are missing. It is a gift for a child,” she said.

Just as last year, River Cities Public Transit will again provide free transportation to the event.

Oedekoven said that’s helpful because the free toys could end up costing families the price of a ride if they have no transportation to the event, and some families don’t have cars.

The number to call to line up a ride with River Cities Public Transit to the Christmas Toy Give-away and back home again is 945-2360.

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