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The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund will hold its annual toy drive featuring a visit with Santa this Sunday afternoon in the lobby of The Aegis building at 10 Hays St. in Bel Air.

The toy drive, which runs from from 1 to 4 p.m., is a nice way for children to learn the joy of giving and to get a chance to see the jolly elf in red. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to give to a needy child and tell Santa what you are hoping for this season.

Some toys on wish lists from children include bikes with helmets, all sizes for both boys and girls, and skateboards with helmets. Older girls, ages 8 to 13 are wishing for hair care items, crafts and other items for older girls.

Another upcoming event that benefits the Empty Stocking Fund is Harford Ballet Company’s performance of “The Nutcracker,” which will be held Saturday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. at Patterson Mill High School.

The Empty Stocking Fund moved past the halfway mark in its fundraising effort this week, as it continues to receive generous donations from readers, local businesses and organizations to help make the Christmas holiday season brighter and happier for Harford County residents in need. The goal for this year is $80,000 and $44,800 has been received, for which the Empty Stocking Fund Committee wishes to thank all who have given.

Special thanks are extended to Freedom Federal Credit Union, $1,000; Bottcher America Corporation, $1,000; and to Darrel A. Cooper for $2,000 donated to go toward the food fund.

Generous contributions have also been received from Mary Connors $100; Judy Kennedy, $100; Dr. Thomas Jordan, $100; Findley Bus Service, Inc., Walter and Betty Findley, $100; Fred and Phyllis Bradley, $100; Beverly and Frank Billingsley, $100; C.T. & E. Appraisal Service, $100; Greg and Amy Fox, $225; Harman’s Produce, Tom and Paula Harman, $200; Phil and Karen Coale, $275; Harford Chapter No. 83 Order of the Eastern Star, $300; and Rainbow Rebekah Lodge 95, $300.

A number of toy drop sites around Harford County for the Empty Stocking Fund include BB&T Bank, main office and all 10 branches; Freedom Federal Credit Union, all five offices; Kelly’s Hair Design, 604 Moores Mill Road; PNC Bank, Gordon and Main streets; NBRS Bank, 3535 Conowingo Road in Street; Point Breeze Credit Union, 410 S. Atwood Road in Bel Air; Jordan Thomas, 111 Fulford Ave. in Bel Air; Susquehanna Bank, 1525 Rock Spring Road in Forest Hill; The Arena Club, 2304 Churchville Road in Churchville; Bank of America, Beards Hill Shopping Center in Aberdeen.

Other toy drop sites around Harford include Dollar General 7530; Klein’s Shopping Center in Whiteford; Elite Spine and Wellness, 2107 Laurel Bush Road in Bel Air; Enotria Restaurant and Grill, 2 Newport Drive in Forest Hill; Family Generation Hair Care, 1301 E. Churchville Road in Bel Air; Lombardo’s Market, 4064 Norrisville Road in Jarrettsville; Long & Foster Realtors, Route 40 in Riverside; M&T Bank, Delta branch, 6960 Delta Road; NVS Hair Salon, 312 N. Main St. in Bel Air; Parris Castoro, 620 Boulton St. in Bel Air and 437 Girard St. in Havre de Grace; Rapid Refill, 15 Churchville Road in Bel Air; Pat’s Pizzeria, 1969 Pulaski Highway in Edgewood; Drayer Physical Therapy, 620 W. MacPhail Road in Bel Air and also Drayer Physical Therapy at Hickory at The Rink; and North American Title Company, 307 W. Tollgate Road in Bel Air.

New, unwrapped toys may also be dropped off at The Aegis office, 10 Hays St., Bel Air, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

If you would like to help brighten the holidays for a needy family or person, please send a check, for any amount to The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 189, Bel Air, MD 21014, or you may drop it off at The Aegis office.

Started in 1990, The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund is sponsored by Homestead Publishing Co., publisher of The Aegis, The Record, The Weekender and the APG News. Members of the committee, which handles fundraising and requests for aid for the fund, are volunteers. Every dollar and toy donated goes entirely to the people needing help. All administrative costs of the fund are donated by Homestead Publishing.

Homestead Publishing Co. and its Empty Stocking Fund volunteers do not solicit door to door. Any person or group soliciting donations for the fund door to door are not legitimate and should be reported to police.

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