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Not-Forgotten Box: Holiday tradition of helping returns


ELYRIA — For 52 years, Christmas morning has been brighter for youngsters in Elyria thanks to The Not-Forgotten Box toy drive sponsored by The Chronicle-Telegram and the Salvation Army.

Last year, 12,553 toys were given to the Elyria Salvation Army, and nearly 1,000 families had a brighter holiday.

There will be additional toy dropoff locations for The Not-Forgotten Box and expansion of the distribution program to the Lorain Salvation Army.

Elyria Salvation Army Capt. Sherry Pelletier, who runs the Elyria Salvation Army with her husband, Paul, said the holiday program is truly inspirational.

“I’ve not worked in a community where the people have been so generous to ensure the kids have a decent Christmas, and The Chronicle is the primary source of the gifts we give out,” Sherry Pelletier said.

Donations of new and unwrapped toys for boys and girls, ages infant through and including 14, started Tuesday and runs through Dec. 18 at The Chronicle-Telegram, 225 East Ave., and eight other locations.

Classified advertising staff really enjoy greeting the public as toys are dropped off, said Lucy Goldsmith, The Chronicle’s classified manager.

She said volunteers from the Living Water Christian Fellowship Youth and the Midview Junior ROTC will help in Saturday drop-offs, set for 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 5 and 12.

Debbie Hamilton, the Salvation Army’s case worker in Elyria, said 740 families have signed up so far and another 200 to 250 families are expected to sign up 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Elyria Salvation Army, 716 Broad St.

Those who sign up must have a photo ID with current address, proof of income and proof of children. Documentation such as a Social Security card, medical card or school record are acceptable, but birth certificates are not accepted.

In Elyria, parents and guardians select toys, books, games and sports items at the Castle Shop 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 17 and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 20. The distribution will take place 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 16 for families that will be receiving food only and those people need only a photo ID during signup.

In Lorain, the distribution is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 14, so the deadline for toy donations is Dec. 10, said Capt. Stella McGuire.

Cash donations are also accepted. Make checks out to Not-Forgotten Box and mail or drop off to 225 East Ave., Elyria, OH 44035.

Goldsmith said about $1,000 already has been donated in memory of Harlan “Ray” Riley, a former Elyria police officer who died earlier this year.

Not-Forgotten Box

  • When: Through Dec. 10 in Lorain and through Dec. 18 in Elyria.
  • Toy drop-offs: The Chronicle-Telegram, 225 East Ave.: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, as well as festive Saturday drop-offs set for 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 11 and 18.
  • Other drop-off locations: Dr. Scott Nagy, 406 Ohio St.; FirstMerit Bank, 105 Court St.; Bob Evans, 503 Griswold Road; all in Elyria; George’s Family Restaurant, 2170 North Ridge Road, Elyria Township; the Salvation Army, 2506 Broadway, Tower Sports & Fitness, 1121 Tower Blvd., and Fligner’s Market, 1854 Broadway; all in Lorain, and Bootlegger’s Grille in Columbia Station.
  • Goal: More than 8,000 toys (infant through and including age 14).

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or

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