- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)40
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Ray's of Kelso, Plaza by Ray's to change ownership; Fonn to buy enterprise (04/20/16)3
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Cape council approves nearly $1M in park, sculpture projects with little public discussion (04/22/16)37
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
Fast-food toys making Christmas brighter in Mexico
Children in Rio Bravo, Mexico benefit from the generosity of Southeast Missourian
The free toys found in McDonald's Happy Meals have been gathered and distributed to make Mexican children happy during mission trips made by LaCroix United Methodist Church volunteers.
According to Rick Dittlinger, a mission trip volunteer, the project started in 2002 when Lorili Ozbun sent the playthings along in a duffel bag. The toys are distributed in Mexican schools in Rio Bravo.
Dittlinger has been collecting toys to bring along when he helps build 12-by-16-foot cinderblock homes for Rio Bravo families. In October he brought about 150 pounds of toys. He also sends toys via UPS.
"It costs about $400 to ship about 10,000 toys," he said.
Toy collections were taken at LaCroix United Methodist Church, Notre Dame Regional High School, St. Vincent's, St. Denis, Clippard, Kelly High School and McDonald's corporate offices.
Dittlinger wants to encourage more individuals to donate toys. A drop-off location is currently being decided upon. It is requested that only these type of toys be donated. Although each toy may be different, they are fairly equal in value.
The following is part of a missionary's letter to Dittlinger:
"I just wanted to let you know that we have enjoyed the continuous shipment of toys coming this way. We were able to distribute hundreds when we had a gentleman play Santa Claus on a recent team. He visited two of the poorest schools, talked with the children, and gave them each a toy and some other goodies. We will also be giving the toys away at the many Christmas parties we have been invited to in the next two weeks.
"Please tell all that have contributed with the collection of these toys a great big thanks from the Hands Together Ministry."