As Christmas approaches, the Marine Corps League of Collin County has been hard at work to make the holidays brighter for less fortunate children through its Toys for Tots program.
This is the second year for Toys for Tots as a Collin County effort separate from Dallas County, Coordinator Steve Deffibaugh of Princeton reported. Last year, organizers expected to distribute 17,000 toys, but that number exploded to 31,000 toys that went to 12,000 children.
“It has been very successful,” Deffibaugh said.
Toys for Tots was founded nationally in 1947 and over the years has distributed more than 548 million toys to more than 251 million children. It is an annual project of the Marine Corps League.
Work in Collin County runs throughout the year with activities picking up in October as a push is made for donations and to register families needing assistance with Christmas gifts.
Families had until Sunday, Dec. 9 to register for the program, which was accomplished online at collinco-tx.toysfortots.org or through area nonprofit organizations. Cash donations are also accepted through the website.
Most toy donations are received by way of donation boxes set up at locations throughout the county, and at specific donation points.
“We’ve put out about 850 boxes,” Deffibaugh said. “We are about out of boxes.”
One of the biggest fundraising events is a motorcycle run, held Saturday, Dec. 1. A special toy drop-off event occurred Thursday, Dec. 6 at Allen Event Center.
The county coordinator noted that the organization provides local toys to local kids, pays no salaries to its workers and has minimum expenses. Nationally, 97 percent of donations to Toys for Tots go to help children.
Deffibaugh said that volunteers are always needed to help with sorting and distributing toys at the warehouse in Princeton, and he is especially looking for marines who can attend special events this month wearing their dress blues.
In order to volunteer, citizens can go to collinco-tx.toysfortots.org, click on support the program and then volunteer. To contact Deffibaugh directly, call 214-310-6602.
Toys for Tots drop off locations throughout Collin County are listed below.
Lake Lavon Camp and Conference Center – 8050 CR 735, Tuesday through Saturday
City of Princeton – 123 W. Princeton Drive, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Dollar General – 408 E. Princeton Dr., 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week
VFW 9167 – 601 N. 4th Street, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Baez Tire Shop, 877 W. Audie Murphy Pkwy.
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
Lavon Family Dental – 440 State Highway 78, Ste. 200, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
By Joe Reavis • Staff Writer • [email protected]
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