Hutchinson County Toys for Tots kicks off toy drive

Denice Thomas
Jessica Ozbun
Staff Reporter

Hutchinson County Toys for Tots will kick-off its seasonal toy drive on Nov. 1. Toys for Tots is a national program ran by the U.S. Marines that collects and distributes toys to children where parents cannot afford to purchase Christmas gifts, according to their website.
Hutchinson County Toy for Tots Coordinator Denice Thomas said, “our motto is every kid deserves a little bit of Christmas.”
Thomas has been partnering with Toys for Tots for several years. Over the summer, she traveled to a conference in Virginia to learn more about the program and how she can grow it throughout our county.
Last year, Hutchinson County Toys for Tots provided 227 children with toys for Christmas. The county program is open to children from birth to 18 years of age. Thomas explained that some places have a cut-off age of 12 for their program but here in our county I keep it going till they graduate. She went on to say “that local toy donations and monetary donations stay local. If you give me $20 to spend on toys, I’m going to spend $20 on purchasing toys and the good news is that it will all benefit children right here at home.”
Thomas has two major fundraisers planned in October and November to get the ball rolling on the toy drive. D half time at the Sanford-Fritch and West Texas Comanches football game on Friday, Oct. 18, the cheerleaders for both teams will go into the stands and will be collecting monetary donations, Thomas explained.
“Then in November, the Stinnett Volunteer Fire Department is going to be doing a stuff the stocking,” Thomas said. “They (firefighters) are going to be out collecting monetary donations on Main Street in Stinnett, kind of like they do for MDA with the Fill the Boot Campaign.”
Toy donation boxes will be located throughout November and December at Walmart in Borger, all county Dollar General stores and at Continental Credit. Other local businesses that would like to add a toy donation box to their business should contact Thomas.
Registration for the program ends Dec. 9, and donations of toys will be accepted until Dec. 13. To register or for more information, call Thomas at 806-886-3533.
A registration form and proof of residency (driver’s license or utility bill) will be required.