JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County’s Marine Toys For Tots launched its 2020 campaign with a virtual kick off Friday morning.
Several participants, including coordinator Heather Brown, appeared on the Zoom call. Officials say this year’s event will be rather different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brown tells WNYNewsNow that, because of the pandemic, the 2020 campaign will be key to providing some stability for children during the Christmas season.
“This year, more than ever, children have been out of their routine since March 15,” Brown said. “How scary to not understand what’s going on in the world, or to have so many confusing messages or uncertainty. Hopefully the Christmas and Holiday season can anchor that back. Whatever their family dynamics may be, at least if they can have a toy under the tree on Christmas morning, give them a semblance of this isn’t going to be something their going to miss out on.”
“We want Christmas to be as close to normal as it can. If we can do just a small part of that, we are honored to.”
Applications for families in need start online now and will close on Dec 13th. Applications for agencies, community groups, schools start online now and will close Dec. 4. All Volunteers will sign up through “Sign up Genius.”
Collection boxes will be limited at sites throughout the county.
Other events include the “Non- Event”. Officials ask the public not to come to the annual Kick-Off Charity Ball. – see flyer for details
Drive Thru Toy drop off events Saturdays in November:
▪ November 7th @ Foote Avenue Plaza
▪ November 21st @ Kirks Jewelers Fredonia
▪ November 28th @ Chautauqua Mall
Tim Hortons Donuts & Coffee sale: Buy certificates for $10 each and redeem at Tim Hortons
o COVID Survival Raffle – details to be announced soon
o Wholesale Bundles shipped direct – flyers available
o Amazon Wish List “Chautauqua County Toys for Tots 2020”
o “Buy Local” project – details to be announces soon.
o Paper Trains – businesses can accept donations and post paper trains on their walls
o Donations can be made online, jamestown-ny.toysfortots.org being sure to indicate Chautauqua County. Or checks, must be made out to “Toys for Tots” and mailed to 200 Dunham Ave., Jamestown
All NYS and CDC COVID guidelines will be strictly followed while running our local campaign. Applications will be accepted on-line only, distribution / toy pick up will be contactless drive thru ONLY.
All Volunteers will be screened as per current guidelines and numbers of people in the warehouses will be limited.
Officials anticipate local toy collections will be negativity impacted during the holiday season due to the pandemic.
Officials expect a significant increase in families seeking assistance from Marine Toys for Tots.