HIGHLAND | Sponsored by Becoming We the People and Kempo Jujutsu Martial Arts Academy, the South Shore Toy Drive is collecting used and new toys to help families in need.

“Each year we have helped a few individual families. . . besides providing our big shelter and church distributions. This year we want to help more individual families,” said Jordan Hestermann, executive director at Becoming We the People.

To nominate a family to receive toys, someone outside of the immediate family should email info@becomingwethepeople.org. Organizers will accept requests for toys from shelters, churches, and food pantries in Lake and Porter counties. The deadline is Monday.

Used toys must be clean, without marks or scratches, with all pieces and parts included. Also welcome are batteries, wrapping paper, gift bags, tape and scissors.

Drop-off sites are, in Highland: Kempo Jujutsu Martial Arts Academy 8929 Indianapolis Blvd.; Edward Jones 8415 Kennedy Ave.; Krooswyk Trucking & Excavating, 9731 Indianapolis Blvd.; Family Eye Care 8417 Kennedy Ave.; Chamber of Commerce, 8536 Kennedy Ave.; Primerica, 3022 45th Ave.; Kids First Academy 2450 Lincoln Ave.; in Griffith: Grindhouse Cafe, 146 N. Broad St.; Angel Hair, 142 S. Broad St.; Ben Mollin Hair Education, 140 S. Broad St.; Balanced Nutrition, 844 N. Cline Ave.; T&M Mechanical, 321 E. Main St.; in Gary: Miller Bakery Cafe, 555 S. Lake St.; in Schererville: McInnis Auto, 1901 U.S.  41; in Hammond: Cavalier Inn, 735 Gostlin St.; Healthy Horizons, 7034 Indianapolis Blvd.; White Ripple Gallery, 6725 Kennedy Ave.; in Hobart: Hobart Karate, 517 E. Third St.; in East Chicago: Family Eye Care, 1820 E. Columbus Drive; in St. John: Century 21 McCarthy Realty, 9525 U.S. 41; in Merrillville: Robert Plantz & Associates, 8501 Georgia St.; and Spill the Beans, 7992 Broadway; in Dyer: Kempo Jujutsu Martial Arts Academy, 1139 Joliet St.; in Crown Point: MJ Electric, 1190 Erie Court; in Portage: Vienti Vapors, 3339 Willowcreek Road; and in Chesterton: Alice’s Garden Toy Boutique, 206 S. Calumet Ave. Suite B;  Bleu Lotus Yoga, 362 Indian Boundary Road; and Discovery Charter School, 800 Canonie Drive.

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Community Coordinator

Annette is Porter County Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for 20 years. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.