2011 Toys for Tots campaign under way

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 4:07 pm on Friday, November 25, 2011

GREENVILLE — Toys for Tots has started its annual tradition by setting up boxes at businesses throughout the county to help families make the holidays a special time.

“It’s a magical time for kids,” said Jennifer Bouck, Toys for Tots coordinator in Montcalm County.
Anyone can donate new unwrapped toys to the organization at any price. Because the toys are being dispersed to families by dollar amounts, Bouck is asking price tags to be left on the toys.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a nonprofit fundraising, funding and support organization for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, according to its website www.toysfortots.org.

Monetary donations also can be made, Bouck said. This would go toward buying gifts in specific age ranges, or in different price brackets.

Bouck said donations are important for children and families in need this holiday season.

“It helps build self-worth,” she said. “There is no feeling like the feeling a person gets when they cannot afford a present for their child during the holidays.”

Through Toys for Tots, Bouck said she hopes to be able to reach all families in need throughout the county no matter how far away they might be.

Boxes can be found in businesses and churches around Lakeview, Edmore, Vestaburg, Crystal, Carson City, Stanton, Greenville, Howard City and Amble.

Registration to receive gifts through the program is going on Friday. Applications can be found at any library in the county, Bouck said.

Last year, Toys for Tots in Montcalm County helped more than 800 families with 1,200 children, Bouck said. This year, she hopes to be able to reach out more and help more families in need.

“I want to make sure everyone in need gets help,” Bouck said.

Lisa Heuring said she has been volunteering for about eight years with Toys for Tots with her 12-year-old son, Jacob. She and her son find the cause fulfilling.

“I believe in the program,” Heuring said.

She started getting involved with Toys for Tots by picking out a toy each year and donating it. When she volunteered to help, she said she found out how big Toys for Tots really was.

“Each year I learn how much of a need there is in the community,” Heuring said. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, well it takes a community to give a child Christmas.”

Distribution of toys will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Montcalm Armory located in Greenville. The armory parking lot will open at 8 a.m. that day.

After the holiday season, Toys for Tots also seeks donations such as food, water, gas cards and more.

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