The distribution was one of six in this region being held by the organization and six business partners. Restocking one of many tables filled with toys were, from left, Mike Chadsey, deputy coordinator for the distribution; Amanda Finn, director of government relations for Ascent; and Jill Warren, a volunteer Ascent employee. — Warren Scott
STEUBENVILLE — The Ohio Oil and Gas Association is teaming with six business partners to bring smiles to the faces of families in need this Christmas through a series of toy distributions held in cooperation with Toys for Tots.Volunteers with Ascent Resources gathered at 9:30 a.m. to fill tables in Founders Hall at Eastern Gateway Community College with assorted dolls, stuffed animals, games and hundreds of other toys donated by Ascent and its vendors and suppliers.
Wearing Santa hats, the many volunteers stood ready to refill the tables as the parents of more than 600 local children filed in.
Finn expressed thanks to the college for providing the spacious area to conduct the distribution.
Mike Chadsey, spokesman for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and deputy coordinator for the distributions, said more than 400 families were referred to the distribution by local schools and community agencies serving residents in need.
“That’s the largest number I’ve seen in my six years of doing this,” Chadsey said, adding the task brings mixed emotions.
On the one hand, it’s sad to see such a need but on the other hand, it’s good to be able to help, he said.
Chadsey said one recipient spoke of losing their home to a fire, while another remarked that she had donated to Toys for Tots last year and because of a job loss, was this year a beneficiary of the charity.
Wednesday’s distribution was one of six being held in the region this week and hosted by Ascent Resources, EQT Corp., Williams, Carroll County Energy, Equinor and Columbiana Ford.
Chadsey encouraged everyone to support the Toys for Tots Foundation, a program launched by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1947 to provide toys for less fortunate children.