Toys for Tots Working to Fill Increased Demand

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

A local charity has seen a dramatic increase in requests for their services.

Organizers with "Toys for Tots" are doing everything they can to make sure the supply meets the demand.

They are working feverishly this holiday season.

“We're just trying to make it a successful Christmas for the kids in the wiregrass area so they can wake up with toys under their tree,” said Max Quail who organized a motorcycle run to benefit Toys for Tots on December 13.

This is the wiregrass program's fourth and possibly most difficult year.

“We picked almost 1,000 children from last year,” said coordinator, Mike Walton.

Organizers believe the economy is somewhat to blame.

“Well right now the economy is really slow,” said Walton.
“Families that used to be well off have taken a hit,” said Quail.
“We always have a lot of needy people in our area but this year's been really tough on a lot of folks more so than usual” said Jerry Broadway, volunteer and program director for 95.5 WTVY

Organizers with Toys for Tots say with the increase in demand comes an increase in interest from businesses wondering how they can help.

“A lot of different places that weren't contributing last year that are contributing this year,” said Walton.

With about 670 families signed up from five wiregrass counties, volunteers have their work cut out for them.

“We're about halfway collected, we have 1,400 children to take care of, we're right at about 3,000 toys, I’d like to get about 6,000,” said Walton.

Despite the increased work load, organizers remain optimistic.

“It is difficult trying to keep up but we sit there and try to keep a positive attitude,” said Walton.

“I think it’s the most important time of the entire year for people to get together and try to help out because this is the time of the year when giving because very important,” added Broadway.

Toys for Tots will have two fundraising events this weekend.

Saturday, Dec. 12, the 2nd annual “Rock for Tots” concert will take place at the Southside K-mart beginning at 9 a.m.

On Sunday, the inaugural Toys for Tots motorcycle run will begin at 10 a.m. at Cowboys on highway 231.

All toy and monetary donations stay right here in the wiregrass.

97% of monetary donations go towards purchasing toys; the remaining 3% goes to administrative costs.

To find out how you can donate, visit www.dothan-al.toysfortots.org


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