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KME collects gifts for local children

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    Shawn “Santa” McArdle, left, and Jim Laub, help unload gifts off a KME Fire Apparatus truck at Salem Bible Fellowship Church in Mahoning Township on Wednesday. KME was a drop-off point for the local Toys for Tots Drive, organized by the Schuylkill-Carbon Marine Corps League. Over 1,200 toys were collected.
    JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS

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    Jim Laub, a KME Fire Apparatus employee and Schuylkill-Carbon Marine Corps League volunteer, helps unload gifts off a KME truck at Salem Bible Fellowship Church in Mahoning Township on Wednesday.
    KME was a drop-off point for the local Toys for Tots Drive, organized by the Schuylkill-Carbon Marine Corps League.
    Over 1,200 toys were collected.
    JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS

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    Cheryl Laub, organizer of the Schuylkill-Carbon Marine Corps League Toys for Tots Drive, unloads gifts off a KME Fire Apparatus truck at Salem Bible Fellowship Church in Mahoning Township on Wednesday. KME was a drop-off point for the local Toys for Tots Drive. Over 1,200 toys were collected.

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    An example of the gifts collected at KME Fire Apparatus in Nesquehoning for the local Toys for Tots Drive.
    JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS

Published December 12. 2019 12:37PM

In its first effort collecting for the annual Toys for Tots drive last year, KME Fire Apparatus employees were able to fill one of its smaller trucks with Christmas gifts for local children.

This time, the Nesquehoning company had to break out a much larger vehicle to deliver over 1,200 toys on Wednesday to the dropoff point at Salem Bible Fellowship Church in Mahoning Township.

KME was a collection point for both its employees and community members to bring in toys for the drive, which is organized each year by the Schuylkill-Carbon Marine Corps League.

“We’re all local,” said Brian Connely, KME’s vice president and general manager at Nesquehoning. “A lot of our employees know folks in the area who are less fortunate and it’s a great feeling for them to be able to step up to the plate and help out. It shows we’re part of the community and support the people of that community. Toys For Tots is a great cause. We have a lot of Marines who are employed at KME. It’s a perfect fit.”

Cheryl Laub, who coordinates the local Toys for Tots Drive, said KME is one of the larger corporations in the area to support the cause. Toys, she said, will be distributed to families this Saturday.

“Right now we have 540 families and will probably get more signed up this week,” Laub said. “It’s about 1,135 children and we are able to make sure each kid gets at least two toys. No child should be left out of Christmas and KME has gone a long way to making sure that doesn’t happen.”

Shawn McArdle dressed up as Santa to help unload the gifts at the church, which was filled front to back with items from board games to toy trucks to Play-Doh.

Cheryl’s husband Jim is a KME employee and said the response within the company has been overwhelming. In his building alone, he added, it took three guys to carry the toys out to the truck for delivery.

“The best part is the company I work for in the last few years have come out of the woodwork to help,” Laub said. “This truck is loaded with toys. I work with these people every day. None of us are rich. They always find it in their hearts to give to those who don’t have anything. These are the people that put magic in Christmas for these kids. Without them, a lot of these kids wouldn’t have anything.”

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