Toys for Tots Program Underway in NE Ga.

The Marine Corps is once again seeking “Toys for Tots” this holiday season.

The annual holiday program to help collect toys for families and children in need during the Christmas season is underway.

Don Alexander is the Toys for Tots Coordinator for Stephens, Franklin, Hart, Elbert, Habersham, and White counties.

He said the need is great this year, noting he has already received names of 1,000 children.

“We are finding that when we are down at Wal-Mart, Ingles’, or at some of the other stores that will let us stand outside, we are not getting anywhere near as much financially or toys that we usually do and we are getting more names,” said Alexander.

Alexander said that “Toys for Tots” will accept either a new, unwrapped toy or a monetary donation.

“Right now, we have a lot of toys for the kids from age 3 to 10, and we are looking for stuff for infants to age 2 and for the older kids, from 11 to 15, that would be good,” said Alexander.

He went on to say that all of the toys collected or bought with monetary donations stay in northeast Georgia.

The “Toys for Tots” program began back in 1947.

Since then, Alexander said that nationwide 450 million toys have been collected. Last year, 17 million toys were collected nationwide for 7.4 million children.

He said northeast Georgia has always supported the program.

“Last year, we did 1,949 kids and I think we are going to go over that (this year) and I hope we can meet the demand,” said Alexander. “We try to do three toys per child and so far, the past four years since we have been doing it in this area, we met that demand with three toys for each kid.”

Drop-off boxes for the “Toys for Tots” program are set up at various locations throughout the area.

Donations will be accepted through December 17.

For more information, call Alexander at 706-491-9310.