While you’re out shopping today, consider picking up one extra item: a toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
In the Atlanta area, Toys for Tots put more than 720,000 gifts under trees last year for children. And it expects the need to be just as great this year.
Teresa Wilhite is the local assistant coordinator for Toys for Tots. She says people who are getting back on their feet economically still don’t have much discretionary income. “And then there’s other people who still have not returned to work. Unemployment benefits have run out, so they basically have no type of income,” said Wilhite. “So the economy still has not fully rebounded, and so there are still a lot of people who have a lot of need.”
Wilhite says they always need toy donations for older children -- eight and up -- because people don’t know what to buy for kids that age. She suggests craft kits, board games, handheld electronic games, or sports equipment.
All local Publix stores will collect new toys for donation through December 22, but Wilhite says the organization appreciates early donations: it is a group made up solely of volunteers, so they need as much time as possible to process and distribute the toys.
There are additional local drop-off sites. You can find the site nearest you through Toys for Tots’ Atlanta website: www.northatlanta.toysfortots.org.