Toys for Tots requests help buying gifts
Children’s hearts can be crushed if they don’t receive Christmas gifts, so one local group is working to make sure that doesn’t happen in Limestone County.
Alvis Minter directs Toys for Tots in Limestone and also Freestone, Leon and Navarro counties; and he is asking those who are willing to help in the project to donate toys for children ages infant to 12. The toys may be of any size and value and will go to children in low-income families across the county so the little ones will have toys on Christmas morning.
The way it works is that families who would like to receive toys for their children will apply on Registration Night, which is Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 27-28, 6-8 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Mexia, 209 E. Carthage. Registration requires proof of residence, proof of income and the Social Security card for each child living with the family. If a family misses Registration Day, they may still contact Minter and ask for a late registration. Registration is important because that tells Minter how many children need toys, and their ages, so he and his volunteers know about how many they need to get. In the past, among the four counties, that has meant more than 2,000 toys.
Later, on Distribution Day, which is Saturday, Dec. 16, the parents will return to Mexia’s First Presbyterian Church, and a volunteer will accompany them individually into three rooms where the toys have been arranged on tables. There the parent will choose toys they know their children will like. Minter thinks he has enough volunteers from the high school and the community to help him in the project, but he won’t turn down anyone who is willing to help.
Minter usually tries to get each child about three toys so they will have several presents on Christmas morning; the number depends on how many toys are donated. He also tries to allow the neediest parents first choice on picking toys.
Unfortunately, giving this year has been down, he said. He held a toy collection event earlier this month and only received a box and a half of toys and $300. He usually gets six or seven boxes of toys and $500-$700 cash donations at previous years’ collection events.
“Things are different this year,” Minter noted. “A lot of people don’t have jobs, don’t have the money, but we’re still going to have to get enough toys to make sure everybody has a happy Christmas.”
He expressed confidence, however, that generous people in the county will provide the donations he needs to help every family that requests help.
“We’re going to be OK,” Minter said. “We’re going to get what we need.”
Those who want to donate toys may leave new, unwrapped toys in collection boxes that have been set up in businesses around Mexia, such as all the banks.
Those who do not have time to shop for gifts may donate money into money boxes that have also been placed at all the banks and at The Farm House Restaurant and Northland Cable.
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