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Truck N4 Tykes toy drive to benefit FYI Christmas program in New Carlisle

The upcoming first Truck N4 Tykes Toy Drive started as a passing thought but has since become an idea that has been kicked into overdrive. The event will be held Sunday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. in partnership with local non-profit Family and Youth Initiatives. It is open to anyone with a pickup or 4x4 SUV who wants to participate.

“It was just an idea and we never thought it would become a reality,” said Stephanie Bailey, who along with husband Cody are spearheading the event. “But with Pat’s help and FYI, it is happening. And it is happening pretty quickly. We just posted the event on Facebook and we already have over 40 committed to participating. We just wanted to help someone in need and my husband likes big trucks.”

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The “Pat” she is referring to is Pat Banaszak, co-Executive Director at FYI.

“We are very excited,” said Banaszak. “We have never tried to collect toys before for western Clark County. We’re hoping this is the first of many Truck N4 Tykes runs in the future.”

Entrants are asked to decorate their trucks or SUVs with a Christmas theme. To participate, entrants are asked to provide one new toy for a boy and one toy for a girl, or a clothing item or pair of shoes for each gender. Clothing and shoes must be for kids ages 0-17. Participants can donate $25 in lieu of donating items. All items will be donated to FYI’s Hope For The Holidays event, held in conjunction with 15 other local entities including the Salvation Army, Bethel Churches United and Shoes For The Shoeless. That event will distribute toys, clothes and food to over 100 needy western Clark County families this Christmas season.

The Truck N4 Tykes convoy will start at Rural King, 1476 Upper Valley Pike in Springfield. All entrants are asked to meet at 1 p.m. and the run will begin around 2 p.m. It is scheduled to end around 4 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge, 376 Quick Rd. in New Carlisle. The Eagles have agreed to store all donations and will also provide free hot dogs to all participants. Other bar food and beverages will be available for purchase.

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Truck N4 Tykes is also working to enlist the help of local businesses.

“We have a big need on this side of the county,” said Bailey. “A lot of people can’t get to the other side of the county to sign up (for help from Springfield-based charities). So we want to help them.”

Truck N4 Tykes is also participating in the annual New Carlisle Christmas Parade on the morning of Dec. 7. The group will deliver its donations at FYI’s annual Grinch For Good event, to be held from 1-4 p.m. that same day at New Carlisle Elementary School. The donations will then become part of that day’s Stuff The Bus effort, the proceeds for which will be given out as part of our Hope For The Holidays initiative.

For information on how to join or support the drive, email truckn4tykes@gmail.com, find the event on Facebook or call FYI at 937-845-0403 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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