hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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December 13, 2012

Ozzie's Kids scrambling to help needy children

Retired police officer seeking help from the community

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“Our hope is that friends, family and others in the area will help out by bringing donations for Ozzie’s Kids,” Kevin Menzie said.

A night out for Ozzie’s Kids will be held Friday, Dec. 14, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Toma’s Restaurant, 35 Washington St. Restaurant owner Toma Sargent of Bradford is encouraging people to drop by with donations of new, unwrapped children’s toys or a monetary donation to help Hardy purchase toys.

Toma’s will offer several specials that night, including a large cheese pizza for $5 and half-price appetizers from 5 to 8 p.m.

Hardy hopes to drop in to thank people for supporting his program of giving.

If you can’t drop by Toma’s, you can drop off donations at Pizzazz Hair Salon, 100 Merrimack St. Kevin Menzie said his aunt Kathy Darby, who owns the salon, wanted to help Ozzie’s Kids by using her store as a drop-off location.

You can also call Kevin Menzie at 978-479-5361 and he will arrange to pick up your donation.

“Every year, we know there are kids out there who don’t get anything,” Kevin Menzie said.

Hardy’s list of children is long, as it usually is each year, but this time things are different.

With a sluggish economy that has many people tightening their belts, Ozzie is finding it hard to gather enough donations to ensure all the children on his list will wake up on Christmas morning to something special under their tree.

“We have almost 800 kids signed up this year and we’re so short of gifts that this is the first year I’ve had to start a waiting list,” Hardy said. “My need right now is toys. If people drop off just one gift, I’m happy. Our motto is one gift at a time and one child at a time.”

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