Toys for Tots Continues to Help Less-Fortunate Children
Believe it or not Christmas is just 31 days away. And once again, the U.S. Marine Corps League is doing its part to help families in need as part of the Toys for Tots program.
Once again, the U.S. Marine Corps League is coordinating the Toys for Tots program, that collects toy donations for children, in need. Toys For Tots has been in all 50 states since 1996. Since then, the organization has given 496 million toys to the underprivileged.
"We make sure that these children and these families have a nice Christmas," Don Enea, U.S. Marine Corps League said.
Enea is the co-coordinator of Washoe County's Toys for Tots program. He says despite the improving economy, the need is still great.
"There's so many kids and families that are in need because of unemployment or illness or whatever, and they just don't have the funds," Enea said.
The toys are collected by The Salvation Army, churches and other charities that give them to local children. Last year, 42,000 toys were handed out to the less-fortunate in Washoe County.
"I'd like to kind of break that record and I'd like to see 50,000 to 60,000 toys coming in for these kids," Enea said.
Toys can be donated for children of all ages, as long as they are younger than 18 years old. Enea says items for infants and teens tend to be donated less than those for other age groups.
"We have a lot of teenagers, and last year, we didn't get that many for teenagers but this year, it's pouring in pretty good," Enea said.
Enea says sporting goods and video games are popular among teen boys, while makeup and jewelry are good gifts for teenage girls. No matter what the child's age, he says all the hours he puts into this organization is worth it because he sees the joy it brings to so many children.
"It makes me feel really good because I can sit here and watch these children and even the moms and the dads, how grateful they are," Enea said.
There are many drop-off locations around the Truckee Meadows, including Toys R Us, Walmart, Walgreens, and Les Schwab. Many national and local businesses have donated thousands of toys, but everyday citizens do their part, too. This year's donation deadline is December 10. Any toys, collected after that, will be stored until next year, when they will be given to children.