The need is great but the funds just aren't there -- yet.

The Newcomerstown Chamber of Commerce has taken over the organization and operation of the Toys for Local Tots in the village. Starting with a bank account with no money, the chamber is undertaking a task that is basically starting from the ground up. And they need help.

As of early last week, approximately $1,400 has been raised for the organization which is far from the goal of $4,000. That amount was raised last year.

The chamber had sign-ups for applications the day prior to Thanksgiving and was able to register approximately 60 children (who are from birth to twelfth grade in the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District).

"But, we will get more," expects chamber member and Toys for Local Tots organizer Janet Chaney.

Applications will still be taken until Friday, Dec. 18 at either the Dale Gress Real Estate branch office in Newcomerstown or the Newcomerstown News office, both on Main Street.

Two area churches, the Newcomerstown Church of the Nazarene and the Christ United Methodist Church of Newcomerstown, have both agreed to have "Angel" trees of children in the Toys for Local Tots program. Huntington Bank in Newcomerstown will also have the same tree filled with childrens' names.

Last year, some $4,000 was raised which benefited nearly 200 children in the program.

Donations may be mailed to Huntington Bank, c/o Scott Heil, 100 W. Main St., Newcomerstown, OH 43832.

For information, contact Chaney at 498-4545.