My daughters and I had the opportunity to help sort toys for Toys for Tots this year. I’ve seen their commercials and passed donation boxes in stores throughout the county, but I wasn’t clear on the scope of their mission locally until I got a chance to participate in it directly. Toys for Tots of Calvert County provided toys for 1,030 children in the county this year. This represents 380 families that were helped by the organization.
The toy drive started on November 1 when Toys for Tots placed boxes in over 80 locations throughout the county, including businesses, schools, fire departments, and offices. It ended on December 10, and families shopped at the Calvert County fairgrounds on December 14. Volunteers worked in many capacities, from sorting toys ahead of time to organizing the shopping experience and helping kids make their choices. We were involved in the behind-the-scenes action, sorting through the donation boxes and separating items based on age, gender, and toy type.
Ms. Krista Brezina, Executive Director for Child’s Aid, Inc., runs the Toys for Tots drive in Calvert County, and she mentioned that older children, especially teens and tweens, are the most underserved by the program at this time. So next year when I make my donation, I’ll make sure to put something in the box that a teen or tween would enjoy.
Local businesses also get in on the volunteering action for Toys for Tots, either setting up donation boxes or donating items. Above Average Graphing and Boyce Insurance hosted an Autograph Exchange Toy Drive at Green Turtle in Prince Frederick on December 13 that allowed people to receive an autograph from a Washington Redskins player in return for a toy donation. Anthony’s Bar and Grill in Dunkirk hosted a Rock and Roll Christmas Toy Drive that required a toy donation for admission to a concert featuring three rock bands.
If you are looking for a way to help Toys for Tots, you can visit their Facebook page. Next November and December they will need help sorting, organizing, and guiding shoppers. It’s easy to help them out with a toy donation as well and doesn’t require any extra time on your part – a simple $10 toy can make a child’s Christmas