DOUGLAS COUNTY TOYS FOR TOTS, OUR STORY
The Douglas County Toys for Tots Program began in 1990 by a group of local volunteers, since there is no Marine Corps Reserve Unit in Lawrence. The Douglas County program continues to rely on volunteers, is sanctioned by the Toys for Tots Foundation and follows all the guidelines of the National Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots. Douglas County Toys for Tots has no official office or paid staff, all administrative costs are self-funded. All donations made directly to the local group remain in our community and all money collected is used solely to purchase toys.
In 2009 Douglas County Toys for Tots distributed approximately 6800 toys to 2300 children and teens in our community. We collected approximately 5000 toys, received toys from the National Foundation, and spent and additional $12,000.00 on toys.
This year we expect the need to be even greater than last. We work with all social service agencies, schools, foster care programs, churches and community groups that identify families needing help at Christmas.
Toys for Tots provide the toys for the Salvation Army Toy Shop. Toys for Tots Toy Shop continues until December 25th. Toy Shop is set up so parents may choose the toys appropriate for their children. If parents cannot come to Toy Shop we will select toys and deliver them to their home or wherever. We often help children of families that no one else can help. The only requirement is the family be a resident of Douglas County and need help.
Some people say, "It's just a toy." With all the problems facing the children in America today, what difference does a toy make? The Marine Corps discovered the answer over 60 years ago. The answer is "HOPE!" Think about it, how many times can a child miss out on the simple joy of Christmas before he or she begins to lose hope.
We know from the smiles on children's faces and from the grateful appreciation of their parents, that the simple gift of a shiny new toy - something that many take for granted can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child. Hope is the key, and hope is what Toys for Tots is giving needy children at Christmas.