JAMESTOWN – The annual Toys for Tots campaign is in full swing in Chautauqua County.
The group has held several drive-through collection events over the past month, including the most recent toy drive at the Jamestown Holiday Cruise on Friday.
Patrick Smeraldo, one of the three Toys for Tots Coordinator locally, says at that event alone he collected around 15 barrels full of toys that will be given to area youth in need.
He says that the need is greater this year because of COVID-19, with an increase in applications for help.
“We did just over 3,200 children last Christmas, we surpassed that today, and we have about a week to go to get applications,” said Smeraldo. “They usually (come in) 20 or so a day, now we are seeing 60 a day, there is a huge need.”
Smeraldo says anyone who can donate a new ‘in the box’ toy should drop it off at any of the many collection boxes around town.