McDONOUGH — Connecting Henry is asking the community for help to provide hundreds of Henry County children Christmas gifts.

The nonprofit is hosting its annual Community Cares Toy Shop. The event gives parents an opportunity to “shop” from unwrapped donated toys for their children, ages pre-K to fifth grade. Last year, the toy shop served 856 children. Connecting Henry Director Barbara Coleman said she’s seeing an increase in need this holiday season.

“We have a lot of families struggling this year, especially with the pandemic,” Coleman said. “Families can’t pay their mortgage or rent. Those who were getting by last year are finding themselves in need now.”

Names for children in need are submitted by elementary school counselors and social workers. Coleman said most families have multiple children which they try to provide for as well.

“Every child wants something for Christmas,” she said. “We’re going to take as many names as we possibly can.”

Toy donations are accepted through Nov. 30. As for what to donate, Coleman suggests givers consider what they would give their loved ones. Popular toys include electronics, remote control cars, scooters, action figures and dolls, arts and crafts, board games, puzzles, Legos and fishing poles. Socks, hats, scarves and stocking stuffers are also in demand. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to Connecting Henry, 66 Veterans Drive, McDonough, Ga. 30253. Monetary donations are also accepted.

Coleman said she’s working with volunteers to pick up donations if needed. To arrange a pick up, call 770-288-6230.

The Toy Shop will be open from Dec. 9-11 at a location large enough to allow for social distancing. Coleman said the space will be reminiscent of a Winter Wonderland.

“Our families really appreciate the Toy Shop,” Coleman said. “It means a lot to folks, and you can’t put a price on that.

“We appreciate everyone who continues to support us,” she added. “We are here for our community, and we want to continue to be a beacon of hope for families struggling in Henry County.”

To learn more about Connecting Henry, visit www.facebook.com/connectinghenry/ or www.henry.gafcp.org.

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