The McMinn County Rescue Squad is currently gathering donations for their annual Rescue Christmas event.

Rescue Christmas is an event where the McMinn County Rescue Squad collects donations of toys or money in order to supply children in need around the county with Christmas gifts.

“People can donate year round, money wise, because we have a second account for it called the McMinn County Rescue Christmas Fund,” said Rescue Christmas Overseer Rod Walker. “Toys have to be new and unwrapped and we will accept them until December 10 because the party we will hold for the children will be on Dec. 18 this year.”

Much like with the monetary donations, toys will need to be donated to the McMinn County Rescue Squad Building on Congress Parkway.

Those with questions about what is allowed to be donated can call the rescue squad at 745-6666.

“One of the things we do not need donated this year is stuffed animals because they are able to easily transfer the (COVID-19) virus,” he noted. “If you want to donate a stuffed animal it will need to be completely wrapped and sealed up because we will need to run them through an industrial dryer.”

He believes this year will be a special year for the children who are able to participate.

“Each child will be given a coat and a pair of shoes as well this year,” he expressed. “I think this is very important to host because there are several kids in this community that are not as fortunate as others ... We don’t want to see a kid go without something on Christmas morning.”

The rescue squad will also be accepting donations during the remaining home football games for McMinn County High School.

“They will have a table set up along with a box and there will be people there in their squad uniforms during the game,” Walker said. “They started this two weeks ago and I believe they did well on the first night. People are in a giving mood this year and we are way ahead of schedule than we normally are this year.”

Walker would also prefer being cautious on donating toys that require batteries.

“You will spend twice as much on batteries than you would the toy so be careful of that,” he noted. “I really thank the community for being so giving this year. In Athens we really are the friendly city and people at this time of year show their gratitude. We truly are a blessed community.”

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