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Holiday Guide - Ways to help tots in need get toys this season

Give and take

Get on the "Nice" list this holiday season by donating toys to kids in need. Each of the following organizations offers fun and easy ways to give back to the greater Atlanta community. So, while you're feeling nostalgic about your childhood playthings, you can help kids make wrapping-paper-filled memories, too.

ANGELS THAT CARE GOSPEL CONCERT/TOY DRIVE Listen to a variety of Georgia gospel artists and get in the Christmas spirit at this concert-slash-fundraiser. The entrance fee is an unwrapped toy or a $5 dollar donation that will be given to local shelters. 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 11. Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. 404-286-7356.

ATLANTA CHILDREN'S SHELTER Help the Atlanta Children's Shelter continue to aid thousands of local families this holiday season by donating gifts and consumable items. The safe haven runs cultural enrichment programming for children, has biweekly well-checks, and provides kids with many of their basic needs at no cost to their parents. Drop-off 10 a.m.--4 p.m. Dec. 14-17 (call ahead). 607 Peachtree St. 404-892-3713. www.acsatl.org.

CHILDREN'S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA Donate new and unwrapped toys to brighten a kid's hospital stay. All three main CHOA locations — Egleston, Hughes Spalding and Scottish Rite — accept donations daily at their information desks. 7 a.m.--7 p.m. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, 1687 Tullie Circle. 404-785-4483. www.choa.org.

CLARK'S CHRISTMAS KIDS National radio personality Clark Howard and News Talk 750 (WSB-AM) are joining forces for the 19th year to provide holiday gifts for kids in foster care. Howard will broadcast his daily show at several Wal-Mart locations in the metro area Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12 while shoppers purchase items from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services wish list. See website for specific times and locations. clarkhoward.com/topics/clarkcares.html.

THE EMPTY STOCKING FUND Through close relationships with several wholesale distributors, the Empty Stocking Fund purchases toys for thousands of children at a fraction of their retail cost. Donate your spare change and let the fund stretch your dollar to provide gifts for nearly 50,000 children this holiday season. Families in need will have the opportunity to select toys from Santa's Village between Nov. 30 and Dec. 19. Donate online. 404-878-8697. www.emptystockingfund.org.

FOR THE KID IN ALL OF US TOY PARTY AND SILENT AUCTION Sip on cocktails while giving back to the Atlanta community at For the Kid's seventh annual Toy Party and Silent Auction. A new toy or gift card valued at $20 or more is your admission ticket for the evening. Past auction items have ranged from vacation stays to event tickets to original artwork. All proceeds benefit For the Kid in All of Us and 19 different agencies that aid local children in need. 5:30-9 p.m. Sun., Dec. 6. Americas Mart 2, 250 Spring St. www.forthekid.org.

JOYOUS TOYS Buckhead Christian Ministry, a nonprofit that provides emergency assistance to thousands of Atlantans, runs an annual Joyous Toys program. Contribute by donating something new and fun to add to their "store," where families in need can shop for holiday gifts for their little ones. Drop off gifts on Wed., Dec. 2, at Outback Steakhouse in Buckhead, or the Buckhead, Gwinnett, Cumberland, Druid Hills, North Cobb, or Sandy Springs locations of Promove. Or bring them to Wieuca Road Baptist Church Dec. 7-11, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Buckhead Christian Ministry, 2847 Piedmont Road. 404-239-0058. www.buckheadchristianministry.org.

MICHAEL ISENHOUR TOY DRIVE Even if you're not a Tech fan, you can help continue the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board's tradition of collecting holiday gifts at home games in November and December. Originally started by a former Yellow Jacket basketball player to help the victims of 9/11 in 2001, the toys now go to one of the many organizations supported by Atlanta Toys for Tots. Sat., Nov. 28 (football);Wed., Dec. 16. (women's basketball); and Sun., Dec. 20 (men's basketball). ramblinwreck.cstv.com/genrel/110609aaa.html.

TOYS FOR TOTS ARCHERY SHOOT For the eighth year in a row, the nonprofit Bad to the Bone Archery Club will hold the Toys for Tots Archery Shoot. Bundle up your family and take a road trip to Cartersville for a day of target practice on the outdoor archery range. One unwrapped toy per person. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., Dec. 5. 110 Beasley Road, Cartersville. 770-830-6042. www.badtothebonearchery.com.



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