Toys for Tots begins annual mission

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Toy drop-off points are at several local businesses.

By Staff Reports

Toys for Tots is bringing new toys to the children of economically challenged families in Carroll and Grayson Counties and the City of Galax, and local organizations and businesses are raising funds and collecting toys for the children.
On Dec. 1 — before, during and after the Fries Christmas parade — toys will be collected at the new Fries Firehouse and along the parade route, said Bob Hines, coordinator of Twin County Toys for Tots.
The Fries Volunteer Fire Department is also a toy collection site through the holiday season.
Blue Ridge Lanes in Galax is hosting the 2nd Annual Toys for Tots Bowling Tournament on Dec. 8 and 9. The entry fee is $25 and two toys valued at $10 or more for a team of four. Contact Blue Ridge Lanes at 236-2695 to enter.
Blue Ridge Lanes is also a toy donation drop-off through Christmas.
“Watch for Boy Scouts collecting toys and funds at the entrances to Magic Mart in Galax,” Hines said. Magic Mart also has a collection box available when the Boys Scouts are not on site.
Matthew’s 5 & 10 and the Tuesday night LaRaviere Auctions are year-round toy donation sites, Hine said.
Other drop-off points in Galax are Roses, Family Dollar and Dollar General.
Dollar General in Independence is the Grayson County drop-off site, and Pro-Careers in Woodlawn is the collection site for Carroll County.
Businesses and organizations may contact Hines at (276) 744-3207 to become donation sites.
Many convenience stores have Toys for Tots jugs at the register to collect financial contributions.
Toys for Tots is a national program, begun by members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1947. That year, 5,000 toys were given to disadvantaged children in the Los Angeles area. Last year, more than 16 million new toys were collected and distributed.
Toys for Tots is a non-profit charitable organization. It has been recognized for spending less than 3 percent of its budget on salaries and expenses.
Gifts to the Toys for Tots foundation are tax-deductable.
Donations may be made through the ToysforTots.org website. “Users should select Carroll, Grayson or Galax so your donation serves children in our area,” Hines said.
New, unwrapped toys are distributed locally to parents and guardians of qualified children. The children must reside in this area, and they receive two toys.
Toys for Tots supplements toys to Angel Tree recipients and other children qualified through Social Services agencies.
Hines said District 3 Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers are helping find children that “just miss” qualifying through other programs, but are in need of a little hope and joy this Christmas.
The Toys for Tots foundation does not supply toys to other organizations to distribute. All toys remain local.
The Carroll-Grayson-Galax program has been granted a $4,000 shopping spree at Toys-R-Us and will receive approximately $7,000 of toys through the Toys for Tots foundation.
This provides toys for approximately 325 children. The 2012 goal is to serve an additional 175 children through local contributions.