The number of families and children helped by the Marine Toys for Tots of DeKalb County has steadily grown over the last few years.
Marine Toys For Tots is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity and all donations stay in DeKalb County, Alabama to help local children receive gifts who ordinarily may not receive anything on Christmas morning.
This year, volunteers at the DeKalb County Department of Human Resources received applications from 416 families and a total of 1,122 children from throughout the county. That number rose by more than 400 children from 2017 that saw 804. In 2018, the organization was able to provide 5,840 Toys for 1,117 local children.
Higher numbers each year means a need for more toys and donations, LaRue Hardinger, coordinator for Marine Toys for Tots of DeKalb County, said.
“Your gift of a new, unwrapped toy, or your monetary gift, will be put to good use to help a local child who otherwise would not have a present this Christmas,” Hardinger said.
After receiving the list of approved families and children that will receive assistance, the organization is now gearing up to finish the season strong with their toy drop-off boxes and coin boxes at local businesses.
An updated list of the toys still needed was released this week:
• diapers in sizes 2, 5, 6 and 7
• Teen Titan figurines
• Ryan’s World Giant Mystery Egg
• Pokemon figurines
• JoJo Siwa dolls
• unicorn pillows
• Paw Patrol toys
• Minnie and Mickey Mouse toys
• PJ Mask toys
• slime kits
• Ben 10 figurines
• Lion King toys
• Power Rangers
• Scooby Doo toys
• Spongebob toys
• Frozen toys
• Super Monsters
• Sonic the Hedgehog toys
• Baby Shark toys
• Fortnite figurines
• Minecraft figurines
• Harry Potter figurines
• LOL Dolls
Volunteers have been taking toy and cash donations at select locations on the weekends for the last few months, and there are still a few more dates to see them in action in your community.
Upcoming public events:
• Nov. 9, DeKalb RC Flyers Toys for Tots Fly-in at Jacoway Field in Fort Payne beginning at 10 a.m. The event was previously scheduled last month but was canceled due to rain.
• Nov. 15 and 16, Bruce’s Foodland, both Fort Payne and Rainsville locations, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Dec. 6 and 7, Fort Payne Walmart from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Until mid-December, donation boxes will be in place around the county at local schools and businesses, allowing plenty of opportunities for residents to donate.
Drop off locations in DeKalb County
• Collinsville High School Panthers and Fellowship of Christian Athletes
• Collinsville Public Library
• Bruce’s Foodland
• First State Bank North–First State Bank South
• Fort Payne High School–Fort Payne Middle School
• Williams Avenue Elementary School–Wills Valley Elementary School
• Fort Payne Train Depot Museum
• Hardee’s South
• Katherine’s Gallery and Custom Framing
• Kilgore Express Pharmacy North
• Kindred at Home
• S House Antiques
• Serenity Place Assisted Living
• Southern Grace
• UPS Shipping Center North
• Walgreens South
• WinSouth Family Credit Union North
• Liberty Bank
• Dollar General
• First Fidelity Bank
• Howard’s Restaurant
• Ider Drug
• J & P Trucking
• Northeast Alabama Community College
• First State Bank
• Mountain Lanes
• Ruhama Jr. High School
These donation boxes will remain at the above locations until Dec. 15 and at local schools until Dec. 10.
You can donate a new and unwrapped toy, cash, or a check made out to Toys for Tots. Checks can be mailed to: Marine TFT Coordinator, POB 681516, Fort Payne, AL 35968. If you would like to donate online, please go to fortpayne-al.toysfortots.org and designate your donation for the Marine Toys for Tots of DeKalb County. The organization would like residents to know they do not go door-to-door to homes; and do not make phone calls asking for donations.