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A basket of cheer

McNeal said they try to have the toys wrapped by Dec. 18, so they can be delivered on Christmas Eve. Also, each basket and accompanying toys are delivered to each family personally, which are informed beforehand that they'll be receiving the delivery. The food baskets include a holiday meal with all the trimmings, said McNeal.

"Face to face experiences are the best, because you see the appreciation especially in a single parent," said Barber. "They are grateful and they are thankful and it puts a smile on their faces, especially the kids."

The national economic crisis has resulted in an increased need for donations this holiday season too. Club and Lodge members are currently seeking donations of new and unwrapped toys, puzzles, books and games for boys and girls up to 12 years old. Also, monetary donations are welcomed for help with purchasing toys or food baskets.

People wanting to contribute towards the project can contact Richard McNeal at 355-1786 or Nick Barber at 496-5203. Information about the project can be found on the Schenectady Kiwanis' website at www.SchenectadyKiwanis.org.""

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