Toys for Tots Helps 1600 NEMO Children
For the 2020 Christmas season, Toys for Tots in Northeast Missouri provided Christmas assistance to 1,600 children in Northeast Missouri. This is a 19% increase over the 2019 campaign.
In the beginning of the campaign, we knew this year was going to be a challenge. COVID-19 dramatically impacted our communities. We anticipated, rightly so, an increase in persons needing help and a decline in donations. We knew that volunteer safety would be a high priority. Many of our traditional volunteers are older in age and we needed to account for social distancing,” said Toys for Tots Co-coordinator Stacey Nicholas.
For the safety of clients and volunteers, all gifts requests were pre-boxed this year.
The two counties with the largest increases were Marion County (7% increase) and Pike County (69% increase)
In Ralls County, 51 families were served.
In Monroe County, 7 families were served.
Toys for Tots of Northeast Missouri covers Marion, Ralls, Lewis, Pike, Shelby, and Monroe Counties. Some of those counties have active community programs and Toys for Tots is the secondary program in those counties.
“Toys for Tots is a national program of the Marine Corps Reserve,” said Aron Lee unit co-leader. “All the work is done locally and money is kept locally. It is a true gift that businesses, civic organizations and individuals make donations, hold toy drives, and support children at Christmas.”
“Toys for Tots of Northeast Missouri is extremely thankful for the community support that made Christmas a reality for 623 families,” Nicholas continued. “Over 8,000 toys were distributed this year.”
Over 100 volunteers collected, sorted toys and helped with distribution.
The local program spent approximately $12,000 in Northeast Missouri for the purchase of toys.
Douglass Community Services and Hannibal Parks and Recreation served as coordinators of the program.
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