Local Toys For Tots Volunteers Gearing Up For The Holiday Season

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – We are less than 100 days away from Christmas, and while that may bring joy and excitement to some, to others it causes anxiety and worry.

The COVID-19 Pandemic caused a lot of uncertainty and financial instability, so come Christmas time many parents are stressing about being able to afford gifts for their little ones. 

Luckily, Toys for Tots is back and ready to help.

In 2021, Toys for Tots helped thousands of children be able to open presents on Christmas, and now this year, it could be more.

“Last year, we’re proud to report, the number of children we served were 4,390 and 1,641 different families, that’s a lot of impact,“ said coordinator Heather Brown. “The number of children living in poverty in the country and in our community is more than ever and this year we really anticipate that need to be great, and it’s more than just a toy. The mission of toys for tots is to bring hope to a child on Christmas morning that might not otherwise have that.”

Toys for Tots is made up completely of volunteers who are looking to spread hope.

“We don’t have a paid staff. We’re all volunteers, the three of us, all throughout the county, the people that come to bag, the people who help us fundraise all year, everyone is a volunteer,” said coordinator Patrick Smeraldo.

Some businesses have already started to help even though boxes usually don’t go out until November. 

“We have toy collection boxes that are going to be going out in November. A lot of businesses like to do some nice, good spirited competitions this time of year and have some different competitions on what business can raise the most toys,” said coordinator Terri Johnson.

The online application to receive toys launched a week ago.

“We have about 56 families that have already reached out to apply,” said Brown.

To learn more about how you can donate, volunteer, or request an application, visit toysfortots.org.


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