BY AUSTIN RUFF
Toys for Tots is beginning its annual campaign to provide disadvantaged children with hope and happiness this holiday season. Started 73 years ago by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, the charitable organization seeks donations of toys, books, and other gifts that are distributed by the Marines. The Marines hope that positive experiences like this can help shape children into positive, kind, and responsible citizens.
Last year alone, the Toys for Tots campaign helped provide over 7 million children in over 800 communities with gifts during the Christmas season. Since its foundation in 1947, Toys for Tots has given gifts to more than 265 million children. Donations are tax-deductible and stay in your local community. The organization receives around 22 million toy donations per year and serves communities around the nation.
Community members can drop off donations at several locations throughout the city of Hays. These include the VFW at 22nd and Vine, the big Dillons of Vine Street, Walgreens, Old Chicago, and the Big Creek Crossing Shopping Mall.
“Our goal is to get every one of the kids we serve a toy this Christmas,” local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinator Dan Dischner said.
Donations can also be made online and following the steps there. Due to increased consumer prices and employment stress due to the pandemic, millions of children nationwide will be affected this year. Any and all donations, no matter the size, are welcomed and appreciated by the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
“It is my hope and the hope of the Foundation that we are able to get every disadvantaged child in this country a toy this Christmas,” Dischner said.