"Sunday we packed out 52 families. We're busier than busy," said Thornton, who started his vacation on Thursday so he could devote himself full-time to the effort.
Various organizations are pitching in support for Thornton's campaign. The Jaycees' Toys for Tots drive is presently underway. The Ladies Auxiliary for Tom Wolfe Memorial VFW Post #4207, held a toy drive as well. International Dehydrated Foods sponsored a toy drive this year, and today Thornton picked up donations made by employees at EFCO Corporation.
Thornton's efforts, including his Christmas day dinner, are receiving financial support from the Barry-Lawrence Area United Fund, Architectural Systems and Thornton's church. The culinary arts class at the Southwest Area Career Center will again prepare rolls and other goodies for the dinner.
Calls from families seeking help have been coming in from a wide area, Thornton reported.
"The need is widespread," Thornton said. "It's quite a project to get it all done. Everything is going good."
Thornton expects to distribute toys to more than 300 families and have food for over 1,000 on Christmas day. Donations of food are still being accepted. Volunteers for the dinner are asked to come to the American Legion Home at 715 E. Broadway on Dec. 25 and volunteer as they have time.
For more information, call Thornton at 236-0222.