Christmas is not always an easy time for everybody, but for more than 70 years, Toys for Tots has attempted to help that by “delivering hope” to children across America.
The nationwide toy collection campaign, organized annually by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, runs from late October to mid-December. According to their website, over 548 million toys have been distributed to over 251 million children since the first collection drive in 1947.
Collection boxes are spread all throughout the capital area and will accept new, unwrapped toys until Dec. 12. Donation sites will accept gifts suitable for children up to 15 years old. The organization recommends buying sporting equipment, cosmetics, books and board games for pre-teens and teens, as such gifts are in high demand for these age groups.
Rachael Ridley, an employee at Toys for Tots participant Campus Corner, said the collection drive has been effective in the past and that people have become more involved in the community as a result.
“We have a large bin in our store," Ridley said. "We have posters all over the doors, and then anytime somebody asks about it, we have our go-to information and we try to help them figure out where the best place for them to donate (is).”
In addition to toys, monetary donations are also accepted. Toy donations will be handed out to local families who need the extra support during this holiday season.