RADFORD – Thunder will be rolling into Radford this Saturday, but it will be bearing gifts instead of rain.
The Faith Ryders, a Christian motorcycle group, along with M/M and The Fast Lane Detailing, have been busy collecting toys for Elf Shelf, a volunteer organization that gives out gifts to hundreds of children each year in Radford. The motorcyclists will be decorating their motorcycles for Christmas and heading to Radford on a “Toy Run” this Saturday, December 3, bringing the toys they have collected to Grove United Methodist Church.
The Toy Run is starting in Christiansburg at 2 p.m. and arriving at Grove United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. They will ride their motorcycles and bring a truck load of toys, explains Elf Shelf Volunteer Dr. Jim Nicely. The public is invited to come and see the parade of decorated motorcycles and toys at Grove at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Also this Saturday, the T@G (Teens at Grace) youth group will be holding its annual Toy Drop to collect toys for Elf Shelf at the Canterbury House, located at 606 Tyler Avenue, from 9 a.m. until noon. Teen elves will come to cars to collect toys so donors don’t even have to get out of their cars.
This is the 18th year Radford Elf Shelf and the Radford Noon Rotary Club have provided gifts to Radford children for Christmas. They are currently soliciting donations to provide new toys, books, bikes, games and food certificates for Radford families in need.
“The program serves families who are transitioning through tough times such as layoffs, medical problems, crises and shifts in family situations as well as the elderly and disabled on fixed incomes,” explained Elf Shelf Volunteer Jo Alderman via a solicitation letter.
“The numbers continue to rise each year,” she continued. “Last year 377 children were served and 224 food vouchers were distributed; 42 of those for food only. It is anticipated that even more will be eligible for assistance this year.”
Applicants are screened for eligibility. Eligible parents are allotted points to shop in the Elf Christmas store for gifts for their children and food vouchers will be given.
The public is encouraged to donate gifts and cash donations. Collection boxes for new unwrapped toys are located at the following locations: BB&T Bank, East Main Street; Carter Bank, East Main Street; Dalton Intermediate School; Dollar General Store, Tyler Avenue; First Bank of Virginia, Tyler Avenue; First NRV FCU (formerly Radford Pipe Shop Credit Union) , West Main Street; Harvey’s Chevrolet, Tyler Avenue; National Bank, East Main Street; Radford High School; Radford Public Library; River City Grill, Third Avenue; Sal’s Restaurant, West Main Street; Sharkey’s, East Main Street; Stellar One Bank, West Main Street; Sun Trust Bank, Tyler and East Main Street; Sun Trust Bank, West Main and Kent Streets; Wells Fargo Bank, East Main Street.
Many local churches also have boxes for Elf Shelf donations. Boxes will be picked up on December 8, 2011.
Monetary donations may be mailed to: Radford Elf Shelf, P.O. Box 358, Radford, VA, 24143, or received at Carter Bank & Trust, 1900 East Main Street, Radford.
Elf Shelf distribution will be on Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10, at Grove United Methodist Church on Tyler Avenue.