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Midland Toys for Tots determined to fill need despite drop in donations

The Midland and Gladwin Area Toys for Tots group is determined to fill the need in the community even though donations this year have been lower because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 3:25 PM EST
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MIDLAND, Mich. (WJRT) - The Midland and Gladwin Area Toys for Tots group is determined to fill the need in the community even though donations this year have been lower because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Loretta Ferris, the coordinator of the local group, said that many donation boxes have stayed empty this year which is a sharp contrast from last year.

“Last year we had tables and tables full of toys after everybody stepped in and helped us, which was great,” she said. “This year, it’s been a little bit more difficult.”

One of the reasons why donations have been lower is that the COVID-19 pandemic forced the nonprofit to do things a little differently this year.

“Last year, we were able to place over 120 boxes out in the community,” Ferris said. “This year, we haven’t even got close to that due to a lot of the businesses being shut down.”

This has led to a drop in donated toys.

In a Facebook post earlier in the week, the Toys for Tots group posted that there was a “critical” need in some areas of donations including in books, items for teen boys and girls aged 10-12 years old.

The pandemic has also led to a change in how toys will be distributed. This year, families will be given gift bags instead of the usual shopping trip but with less donations, filling those bags has been more difficult.

Ferris said they have bagged more than 160 toys so far but have many more families to go so she is asking the public to donate more toys to make sure they can fulfil the need.

“So it just would be great if everybody could kind of help out and throw something in a box whether it’s a stocking stuffer or a teenage toy or a little kid’s toy,” she said. “We will make anything work and we’ll make sure no child goes without.”

Donations can be dropped off in any of the donation boxes or monetary donations can be made online.

Ferris said that donations will be accepted until December 10. Families that are in need of toys this year and have not already signed up, can do so through the end of the week.

More information can be found on the group’s Facebook page.

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