2018 CHRISTMAS SEASON
Toys for Tots is accepting donations for underprivileged children in Jones County still, but time is running out for families to sign up and volunteers are still needed to help the organization make Christmas miracles come true.
Shana Johnson, the campaign coordinator for Toys for Tots in Jones County, said the toy drop is her favorite part about helping out with the organization. She said helping the families is a way to lift some weight off their shoulders.
“Toys for Tots is supported by the Marine Corps and is a national foundation that provides kids with Christmas gifts, so we collect new, unwrapped toys,” she said. “We have collection boxes set up throughout the community and you can make monetary donations on the website, too.”
Johnson said families need to continue to submit applications online as soon as they can for their children to receive toys. She said the deadline was Dec. 1, but families still have until around Dec. 10 to submit an application. She said she wants families to get last minute applications in as soon as possible.
“The only time we really deny an application is if they are not in our area. Everything that is raised in Jones County, stays in Jones County. We just ask that the community step up and help because there are families out there that need this help,” Johnson said.
The last time Johnson checked there were around 575 children in Jones County that need gifts, but she said she is still getting applications in so there will be more by Christmas time. Once the application is approved, the parent will get a message to come pick up their toys.
“We try to do our very best to match the toy to the child. If they have a girl, we need to know the age range and we ask if they are a girly girl or a tomboy,” the coordinator said.
Joy Carr said her favorite part about helping with Toys for Tots in Jones County is witnessing the giving and receiving. She said she feels that is what Christmas is all about.
“The community support has been tremendous. It was fun last year watching volunteers. To see a volunteer go around and contemplate what to give each child is wonderful. They don’t even know the child they are going to be giving that to, but it’s just the Christmas spirit,” she said.
Carr said the organization needs baby toys and three years old to five years old toys the most at the moment. She said giving anything at all to make a child’s Christmas a bit brighter is a wonderful and loving thing.
“At our Labor Day event at Ace, where we were raising money, the first lady that came by and gave us money said we really helped her out last year,” Carr said. “She said she wasn’t able to do as much for Christmas then and she wanted to give this year. That’s the whole point of this.”
Toys for Tots in Jones County is still looking for volunteers to help make the packaging of the toys go faster and smoother. Johnson said people can check out the website at https://gray-ga.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/local-volunteer-form.aspx to find out how to sign up.
For people who want to help out with donations, Johnson said they can go through https://www.facebook.com/jonescountytoysfortots/ or https://gray-ga.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx.