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Downtown Council Holiday Drive Collects Clothing and Toys for Homeless Families

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The Downtown Council of Kansas City is rolling out the holiday barrels again to collect coats, clothing and toys for homeless families who use the services of ReStart.

Sean O’Byrne, vice president of the downtown owners and property association, said this is the 15th year the council has collected donations for the individuals and families coming to its Downtown Community Services Center at Eighth Street and The Paseo.

Donation barrels for the holiday toy and clothing drive are outside the Downtown Council offices on the first floor lobby of the Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut St.

“Last year, we took 10 barrels of toys and coats and we hope to beat that this year,” he said.

The decorated barrels are outside the offices of the Downtown Council at 1000 Walnut Street, Suite 200, the first level of the Commerce Bank Building.

People are asked to bring new or gently used toys, coats, clothes and under garments.

The donations will be delivered to the Community Services Center on Dec. 21.

Evie Craig, president and CEO of ReStart, said the gifts are welcomed by the families and other who come to her facility.

“These are tight times for everybody,” she said. “We have people coming who are living under bridges or in cars.

“One of our most underserved homeless populations are families with children. We serve hundreds of families every year. That’s why it’s so important.

“Families coming off the street are under pressure to keep things as normal for their kids as possible. This is a link to normalcy.”

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