Toys for Tots of Northeast Missouri will provide toys for 600 children this holiday season; Tuesday, Dec. 21 is Distribution Day in Hannibal at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center.
About 285 low-income families qualified for Toys for Tots assistance in Marion, Ralls, Pike, Shelby, Monroe and Lewis Counties. During the distribution, Salvation Army will also provide food baskets. Managerial support for Toys for Tots locally is provided by Douglass Community Services and Hannibal Parks & Recreation.
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community.
Each child will receive five toys, along with stocking stuffers and books.
Stephanie Himmel is director of Community Outreach Initiatives at Douglass Community Services.
Himmel said volunteers boxed up packages for each family and will distribute them through a drive-through system at the Recreation Center, as an abundance of caution due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Although a national event, each Toys for Tots campaign is local. Donations, both financial and toys, stay local and support local children,” Himmel said. “We could not do this project without the support of our volunteers and donors.”
There were coin cans and donation boxes in Bowling Green, Canton, Center, Eolia, Ewing, Hannibal, LaGrange, Lewistown, Louisiana, Monroe City, New London, Palmyra, Perry, Shelbina and West Quincy.
In addition, toys were collected along the route during the Hannibal Jaycees Christmas parade Dec. 4.