The U.S. Marines Toys for Tots officially kicked off Tuesday, October 1, and registration is now underway for families wishing to benefit from the program.
The basic mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Program is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas. The program depends on the generosity of donors to donate new toys and monetary donations to purchase toys for needy children.
According to Calbrina Woods, Toys for Tots chairman for Grenada and Montgomery Counties, those interested in receiving toys this Christmas can go online at toysfortots.org and register.
In-person registration will be held on October 7, from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Winona Montgomery Public Library. Identification and proof of registration is required by participants. On November 4, registration will be held from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Winona Montgomery Public Library.
“Last year, we served 1,300 people,” Woods said. “Ninety-eight percent of all the donations made last year was spent entirely on toys.”
Woods said in addition to online and in-person registration, she has sent requests for referrals to the Department of Human Services and school guidance counselors.
“We should serve a lot more children this year,” Woods said.
This week, Woods made her first shopping trip to purchase toys to be distributed this Christmas. She said she spent $2712 and filled seven grocery carts with toys at Walmart Supercenter in Grenada. The money used was funds donated by area sponsors Kirk Auto Company, Shelter Insurance, and Dixie Roofing.
“Toys will be distributed on December 15 at the National Guard Armory [in Winona] by appointment,” Woods said.
Woods said if anyone would like to make a monetary donation, checks need to be made out to U.S. Marines Toys for Tots, and all donations are tax deductible.
If you would like to host a drop-off point for toys at your business, Woods said to contact her, and a collection box will be delivered to you. Woods can be contacted by calling 662-753-1659.