Mid-South Toys For Tots Working To Catch Up For Holiday Season

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. (localmemphis.com) - Local 24 Cares is the exclusive television sponsor of the US Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots campaign.

Toys for Tots got off to a late start this year after searching for a new warehouse. The local group has come a long way in a short amount of time. The warehouse in Olive Branch, Mississippi, was empty two weeks ago. Now it looks more like Santa's workshop.

"We're behind the curve, but I got a great group of volunteers and we're gonna hit the ground running,” says Carrol Howard.

Howard says the campaign is more than a month behind schedule after a stressful search for warehouse space. She feared she would fail thousands of Mid-South needy children if she couldn't operate.

"I knew I wouldn't be able to help ‘em. I couldn't help ‘em. No way I could. Without a warehouse my operation cannot be successful,” says Howard.

It's now all hands on deck. Hundreds of volunteers will spend the next few weeks sorting, bagging, and tagging toys for tots.

"They will not be without, no they will not be without. We have to make sure the kids are taken care of,” says volunteer Ina Wiehl.

Typically, more than 400 donation drop boxes are placed around the Mid-South to collect toys. Fewer than half that many are out this year.

Volunteers aren't letting that slow them down. They're working around the clock, determined to give nearly 20,000 children a Merry Christmas.

"I don't know if we're gonna have no hiccups, but we're gonna make it happen,” says Howard. "I was going through some of the stuff I had stored from last year and I found a greeting card that one of the little kids sent me and it was just touching, just said thank you. You know for something just so small. It could've been a stocking stuffer toy, but it was gonna be more than what they were gonna get."

Toys will start being delivered to families the first week of December. There are donation drop boxes at different sites around the Mid-South where you can drop off new, unwrapped toys until December 18th.

Toys for babies, 0-2 years-old, and toys for older kids 12 and up are needed most. Also, volunteers can still sign up to help. CLICK HERE TO HELP.

 

 


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