Toys for Tots is a massive volunteer-driven undertaking every year, and this year might be its biggest toy drive yet.
This holiday season marks the 15th anniversary for the successful Wiregrass program, which collects toy donations to distribute to families in need in five counties.
In the last several years, between 2,600-2,900 children in Houston, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, and Henry counties have benefitted from the endeavor.
This year, organizers believe the need will be greater than ever given the financial upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We think that we’ll probably have more families because more are struggling as a result of COVID, so the Toys for Tots program is here for the families that are struggling,” David Duke, Wiregrass 2-1-1 executive director, said. “It’s a wonderful program and they do focus strictly on toys. They’re probably going to need more toys this year than ever before.”
Wiregrass 2-1-1 has helped coordinate registration for families who may need help providing gifts to their children by contacting family services organizations in the area and making it available to the general public.
There is an income qualification and families who sign up must not have registered with other toy-giving Christmas programs. Wiregrass 2-1-1 helps families figure out what documents they need to bring to a local agency to verify need. The registration deadline this year is Thursday, Nov. 19.