This year, in the spirit of giving, hundreds of children throughout Montcalm County can look forward to a new toy for Christmas thanks to the generosity of others through the Toys for Tots program.
For the next few weeks, until Dec. 13, drop boxes located throughout Montcalm County will be available for donations of new, unwrapped toys that will be distributed to parents and guardians of children in Montcalm County.
Toys For Tots Coordinator Jennifer Bouck is hoping for another successful year of donations, as she anticipates as many as 1,000 people arriving in hopes to claim a gift for a child when the gifts are distributed on Dec. 15.
“At Christmas time around the holidays, it just truly amazes me how this county comes together,” Bouck said. “I couldn’t do it without the community and volunteers. I can’t do it without the community donating.”
According to Bouck, those seeking to receive a gift can do so by going to any public library in Montcalm County and filling out a registration form.
Those forms then must be postmarked by Nov. 30 and sent to the corresponding address listed on the forms.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 15, the gifts will be distributed at the Greenville Armory at 319 S. Hillcrest St. in Greenville.
Registered gift recipients may arrive at Greenville High School for parking at 9:15 a.m., where they will then be shuttled by bus to the Armory.
Bouck stressed that everyone who arrives that day will receive a gift, a goal she has reached every time in her three years of coordinating the event.
“It’s not whoever gets there first gets the better toys,” she said. “We’ve never run out of toys. The choices are going to be good throughout the day. We won’t run out of toys, and If we do, we’ll find more.”
For those looking to donate with a monetary donation, that can be done so by visiting www.toysfortots.org and donating online.
Bouck said, however, that when donating online, to be specific and specify that you would like your donation to go to Toys for Tots in Montcalm County.
“Monetary donations, they help fill in the gaps,” she said. “If somebody can only give a dollar, but I have 50 people that give that dollar, that’s still wonderful. Any little amount, no matter the size, is helpful.”
Bouck said money from monetary donations will help to purchase toys on Dec. 15 in the event that there are not enough toys to go around for everyone.
Though the specifics to receive a gift on Dec. 15 are thorough and strict, as one must be a legal parent or guardian and provide the necessary paperwork specified on the registration form, Bouck said the process is for good reason.
“When I’m dealing with donations from people in the community, I want those people to know their gifts are staying within Montcalm County,” she said. “In the past we have had problems, but to make sure everyone gets one gift for a local child, fairly, the rules need to be in place.”
For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org or to contact Bouck with questions or concerns, email her at email@example.com.