Toys for Tots helping 1,038 local children

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By Brian Funk, Editor

The coordinators of the local Toys For Tots campaign are working to raise money and collect toys to serve 1,038 needy children in Galax, Carroll and Grayson this year.
Bob Hines and Kendy Sawyer said they anticipated serving 500 children, but the need was greater than expected.
On Wednesday, they bought a carload of toys at Roses department store in Galax, enough for 174 children from ages 0-3.

Bob Hines said the store gave them a discount on the toys and even helped them load the car. The store is also a drop-off point for toys, so people can bring new, unwrapped toys there or buy them at Roses and donate them.
Toys for Tots still needs toys — or funds to by toys — for 26 children in the 0-to-3 age range, Kendy Sawyer said.
"There is also a big need for toys for children in the 4-to-6 age range and some need in the 7-to-10 range," Sawyer said. "We're in good shape for those age 10 and up."
The couple already has delivered 358 toys to the Galax Elks Lodge during the campaign.
This is their first year running the local campaign, but they've done so before in North Carolina.
Children are pre-qualified for receiving toys through local Departments of Social Services. Sawyer said children in foster care also receive toys from the program, which is coordinated by the U.S. Marine Corps.
A bowling tournament on Saturday and Sunday at Blue Ridge Lanes in Galax also will benefit Toys for Tots.
This year, Hines said the Toys for Tots foundation provided the campaign with a $7,700 donation and Toys R Us provided a grant of $4,000.
Local toy drop-off points in the Twin Counties also include Dollar General stores, Family Dollar stores, Roses, Pro Careers in Woodlawn (across from the new Sears store) and Edward Jones Investments.
Many local convenience stores also have change jars collecting money for Toys for Tots.