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A growing holiday need

When Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist looks at the growing list of names for the 2008 Toys for Town giving drive, the word "nervous" does not necessarily pop into his head. But "concerned" does.

"I'm concerned," he said Tuesday. "I'm afraid the needs are going to outrun our resources this year."

His concern is not entirely surprising, given the country's overall economic situation. People everywhere are budgeting less for the holidays. Trends of companies laying off personnel have hit households everywhere.

And so it is little wonder Lindquist is concerned. With a full two weeks to go before the wrapping and distribution for Toys for Town, he sees the list of families in need this year get longer by the day. If the trend continues as it has in just the first couple of weeks, Lindquist expects about 300 children -- about 120 families -- to be on this year's list. That is quite a jump from even last year, when the program served 220 children from 80 families.

In years past, students at Farmington High School have earned thousands of dollars for the program, providing the bulk of the funding. This year, Lindquist expects he may have to go out to businesses and organizations in an effort to generate more funding.

"If donations are similar to the past, I'm going to have to come up with something," he said.

There are drop points throughout the community where unwrapped toys can be dropped off. Anyone who would like to make monetary donations may do so at Farmington City Hall or the police department.

Wrapping and distribution for 2008 is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Dec. 20 at Farmington High School. Community members are invited to help shop and wrap for the many families on this year's list. For more information or to place a family name on the list, contact the Farmington Police Department at its new telephone number, 651-280-6700.