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Toledo union shopping trip supports local kids in need

Workers from the city's fleet operations and department of transportation buy gifts for children in care of Lucas County Children Services

TOLEDO, Ohio — Each year, hundreds of people come out to show support for the kids serve by Lucas County Children Services as part of WTOL 11's Gift of Joy toy drive downtown gift drop. Among them are union members from the city of Toledo's fleet operations and department of transportation.

They hold a raffle to raise money to support children in the care of Lucas County Children Services. Workers took what they raised to Ollie's in west Toledo on Monday.

Paul Cooper with the City of Toledo fleet operations said, "We're trying to purchase as many toys as we can. They all go to Lucas County Children Services for the children that less fortunate than others."

He's been leading the project for nine years.

"I really love it," Cooper said, "I'm the one who started it, if it didn't mean that much to me I wouldn't do it and look forward to it year after year."

Cooper works closely with Mike Kimble from the City of Toledo's department of transportation. Kimble said the goal is to make sure no child goes without something to open this holiday season.

"We are going to try and buy out the whole store because we got a lot of love from volunteers and donations and things like that," Kimble said.

All the donations support Lucas County Children Services and the kids the organization serves. For Kimble, it's a deeply personal mission. He adopted a son nearly five years ago. He also says he grew up with a big family and hopes to make sure no other kids goes through what he did.

"When I was little, there was a lot of us. Sometimes we woke up with little or no toys at Christmas," Kimble said. "If I could help it, any child I know won't have to go through that."

Both Kimble and Cooper said it's about the kids. Though both can't help by smile when they think about what these gifts will mean to the kids who open them. 

"We're going to get some of everything and make everybody's Christmas, including ours," Kimble said. "That's what giving does, it makes you feel good."

You can drop off your new, unwrapped toy for the gift drop from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at WTOL 11, 730 N. Summit St., Toledo.

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