Toys for Tots officially kicks off

DeKALB – DeKalb County Toys for Tots will kick off the 2013 Christmas season Saturday, Nov. 2.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Walmart parking lot just left of the doors on the store’s grocery side. Toys will placed in boxes and on a truck, with the goal of filling the truck with toys.

Donated toys must be new, unwrapped, and have a minimum value of $10.

Those who donate a qualifying toy or make a $10 cash donation can have a hot dog lunch with Santa Claus, including a hot dog, chips and a drink. There will also be photo opportunities with a Marine in “dress blues” and a meet-and-greet with the Barbed Wire Betties roller derby team. Cub and Girl scouts will assist in counting and sorting the toys. Cooking will be done by members of the DeKalb County Marine Corps League Detachment 847.

Marine Corps Reserve Units throughout the nation conduct toy collection and distribution campaigns in the communities near their reserve centers each year. To expand the nationwide coverage of Toys for Tots, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation authorizes Marine Corps League Detachments and Local Community Organizations to conduct Toys for Tots campaigns in communities without a local Marine Reserve Unit.

Last year DeKalb County Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army, which distributes the toys collected in DeKalb County, served more than 2,500 children from 988 families throughout the county. The ages of the children ranged from newborn to 17 years old.

It is expected that even more families will be in need this year, but, since a new coordinator for the community was not found until mid-year, the local campaign is starting with $11,000 less than last year. Filling the truck with toys will definitely reduceáthe deficit.

The DeKalb campaign will end Dec. 7. The toys will be distributed by the Salvation Army on Dec. 17.

Anyone wanting to donate money, volunteer to assist in the campaign, request a box, or request a toy should visit and select DeKalb County, Illinois; email; or call DeKalb County Toys for Tots Coordinator Kathi Hogshead Davis at 779-777-5896.

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