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Toys for Tots program kicks off

Donations are now being accepted for this year’s Marine Toys for Tots program.

Founded in 1947 by Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks, the national community action program collects toy/Christmas present donations for children in need, distributing an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children annually, including those in and around Farmville.

During a Friday, Nov. 5, interview, local Toys for Tots Coordinator Kerby Moore confirmed toys donated locally through the program are distributed to children in the area.

The program accepts new, unopened toys, but there are certain items, Moore highlighted, that are particularly hard to come by each year.

Moore said older kids are often harder to shop for and recommended those looking to donate for tweens and teens think in terms of what a 4th through 8th grader would want — footballs, frisbees, skateboards, board and card games, electronics, etc.

Books and art supplies also make for a good donation, but liquids of any kind are not accepted, nor are monetary donations.

Moore said some donors often forget the toy they have purchased may require batteries, adding the local program is blessed to receive battery donations each year. Moore and his team take the time to check each and every toy to see if it needs batteries and will tape batteries to the box if need be.

Donations have already started locally. Residents who would like to bring in a toy can stop by Moore’s office at 306-A East Third Street in Farmville (Edward Jones). Drop off boxes are also located in businesses throughout the Farmville area. For more information on how to help out with the program, Moore can be contacted at (434) 391-1284.

Citizens have from now until Dec. 14 to get their toy donations in.

“If they want to come by the office and get it to us before 4 p.m. on Dec. 14, it will get into the hands of a child this year. I guarantee it personally,” Moore said.

He highlighted that those who are looking to help the less fortunate can close their eyes and imagine their gift making its way into the hands of a child who would otherwise go without a Christmas present.

“It’s the true meaning of Christmas,” Moore said. “You’re doing your part, and the child would never know you by name, but you’re an angel to somebody if you donate to Toys for Tots.”