You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Record number of kids need toys this Christmas

Springfield Salvation Army will serve 2,100 children.

The Springfield chapter of the Salvation Army will give a record number of local children toys this Christmas — but it’s not the kind of record anyone wants to break.

“Last year was 1,700 (children), and that was the most,” Capt. Justin Caldwell said.

This year, 2,100 children have been approved to receive help at Christmas from the local Salvation Army.

“The need is up,” Caldwell said. “The need is huge.”

However, the toys that are given out — every child is promised at least two good toys — aren’t magically made by elves.

The Salvation Army will hold its annual toy drive from Monday until Dec. 7, and is in need of unwrapped new toys and presents for children of all ages.

The local Salvation Army is unique, according to Caldwell, in that it also helps teenagers.

Toys can be dropped off during that time at the Salvation Army, 15 S. Plum St., at most township fire stations in Clark County and at all seven Springfield Fire and Rescue Division stations.

“They’re doing the greatest good in the community. Why wouldn’t we want to partner with them?” said Korge Mori, a 10-year Springfield firefighter and secretary of Springfield Professional Firefighters Local 333.

The city fire division, Mori said, enjoys the support of the community.

“We don’t want to take that for granted,” he said.

The annual toy drive begins each fall with a motorcycle toy run by the Highway Hikers Motorcycle Club. This year, a record number of bikes — 2,093 — took part.

The two-week application period to receive assistance has passed, Caldwell said, but it’s not something many families take lightly. Asking for help is harder than it sounds.

“This was the worst moment of their life,” he explained. “Some of them break down in front of you. Some men, you look at them and they’re broken.”

But, Caldwell himself knows what it’s like to be a kid on the receiving end of the Salvation Army’s help.

Caldwell and his wife, Lt. Evelyn Caldwell, took command of the Springfield Salvation Army this past July.

Growing up, he recalled, his mother was raising three kids while going through a divorce and working nights as a nurse.

“She thought she could make it,” Caldwell said. “But, it just didn’t work out that way with the bills.”

For Caldwell, then 8, Christmas morning that year seemed as magical as any other.

“I remember these huge stuffed animals,” he said.

They, along with other presents and food, came from their local Salvation Army.

“Salvation Army stepped in,” he said, “and saved us.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Professor asks students to write 9/11 essay from terrorists' perspective, sparking outrage
Professor asks students to write 9/11 essay from terrorists' perspective, sparking outrage

An international studies course assignment at Iowa State University asking students to explore 9/11 and al-Qaida’s understanding of it is eliciting a strong reaction on social media. Although the assignment says in its description that the exercise is not about “agree[ing] with the terrorists” but about “consider[ing] completely...
Logan County gets new $262K emergency radios to improve safety
Logan County gets new $262K emergency radios to improve safety

Many Logan County first responders will get new emergency radios after years of spotty reception that left officers unable to communicate with dispatchers at times. The county received a $262,000 grant for new radios from the Ohio Development Services Agency. More than 100 radios will be purchased with the grant and will be distributed to the Logan...
Wright-Patt gate to close as part of security upgrade
Wright-Patt gate to close as part of security upgrade

Thousands of Wright-Patterson employees will need to find a new way into work beginning Monday when the heavily trafficked National Road gate closes for several weeks because of a $1.3 million security upgrade. The upgrade is part of millions of dollars in planned improvements designed to thwart unwanted intruders. Gate 19B off National Road draws...
Death Row: Inmate argues Ohio lacked jurisdiction in 1991 child murder
Death Row: Inmate argues Ohio lacked jurisdiction in 1991 child murder

More than two decades after the crime, Death Row inmate Jeffrey Wogenstahl is claiming that Ohio didn’t have the right to prosecute him for the death of 10-year-old Amber Garrett because the girl may have been murdered in Indiana — not Ohio. The Ohio Supreme Court will consider Wogenstahl’s direct appeal on April 4. A Hamilton County...
Wet roads, patchy fog Tuesday morning
Wet roads, patchy fog Tuesday morning

Scattered showers move through early Tuesday. Some mist or patchy fog is also expected.   Showers end Tuesday morning; patchy fog possible  Dry time on Wednesday  More showers and storms Thursday and Friday RELATED: County-by-County Forecasts   TODAY: Broken clouds through the day with highs climbing back to around...
More Stories