The Toys for Tots program, widely considered an American holiday tradition, is under way locally and statewide to spread the Christmas spirit to children this year.
Each year, Toys for Tots donation boxes fill up with dolls, games and stuffed animals donated by members of the community for needy children. Over the past 10 years, U.S. Marines have distributed an average of more than 15 million toys annually and brought the joy of Christmas to less fortunate children.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety is once again participating in the campaign. This is the fourth year Georgia State Troopers and officers have joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to collect toys during the Christmas season.
The Georgia State Patrol post in Baldwin County has been doing its part for Toys for Tots since 2010. This year's toy drive is already off to an impressive start.
More than 500 toys have been shipped from corporate offices affiliated with local businesses in Milledgeville.
Popular items such as bicycles or scooters are always high in demand, but every donation counts.
“Everyone can make a difference. Don't think that one basketball isn't enough. It'll mean more to that child then it ever could to you,” Flury said.
Many games are already toppling the donation box at the local GSP post. There are also teddy bears, dolls and model cars and helicopters.
Toys for Tots targets gifts for ages infant through the late teens in order to make sure that no child is left out of the fun for Christmas. Donated toys should be new and unwrapped and may be dropped off at the Georgia State Patrol post between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.
Cpl. Crystal Griffin of the GSP took the Toys for Tots program statewide three years ago when she asked that every post become a safe drop off place for toys during the holiday season.
Trooper Patrick Brantley now joins her in the rewarding task of providing toys to children in need.
For more information or to make a monetary donation to Toys for Tots visit www.toysfortots.org. For all drop off locations call GSP Post 33 at (478) 445-4718.