Sgt. Reginald Hammons and Cpl. Jovan Sandoval, coordinators, Toys for Tots, and Capt. Tasha Thomas, corps officer, Salvation Army, gathered aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany to formally kickoff the 75th annual Toys for Tots campaign, Oct. 3.
Toys for Tots is the largest Department of Defense outreach program. Hammons noted it is a combined effort among the Marine Corps Reserves, local businesses and the Salvation Army to ensure less fortunate children have a Christmas this year.
“Last year alone, our joint effort collected more than 35,000 toys and raised approximately $7,000 in the local area. These generous donations made it possible for us to help more than 4,000 children in southwest Georgia, which is a significant impact,” Hammons said.
“These donations made it possible for us to help more than 3,600 children in southwest Georgia,” he added. “A ‘Call to Action’ is being issued for MCLB Albany and community members to contribute to the program and its cause.”
Hammons said he and his team plan to again work with local businesses to display official Toys for Tots bins in and around the greater Albany area.
“We will also keep the community informed regarding Toys for Tots events and other opportunities for them to make donations. We encourage everyone in our community to get involved this year and donate an unwrapped toy between $10 and $15 – for both boys and girls – from infant to 12 years old,” he added.
The Albany-based campaign is responsible for 16 counties including Dougherty, Lee, Baker, Terrell and Calhoun counties. This year’s goal is to at least meet last year’s campaign.
Thomas said the Albany Salvation Army will handle the family registration process and will work with us as we distribute toys closer to the Christmas holiday.
For more information regarding upcoming events and donation sites, or to sign up to become a sponsor for a donation site, go to www.albany-ga.toysfortots.org/ . Donation sites will receive an official drop-off bin.
The Albany Salvation Army will handle the family registration process and work alongside the Toys for Tots campaign to distribute toys to all registered families meeting the eligibility criteria closer to the Christmas holiday. The registration dates are Oct. 24-Oct. 27 and Oct. 31-Nov. 3 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Salvation Army location at 304 W. 2nd Ave. in Albany.
“This year, the Salvation Army considers it an honor and privilege to work alongside the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign,” Thomas said during’ this year’s kick-off.
Thomas added those wishing to sign up their children to receive toys must present the following documents:
- State-issued picture ID
- Birth certificates or shot record for all children applying
- Household income or food stamp award letter in your name
- Proof of current address (utility bill of lease agreement, etc.)
- Applicants must reside in one of the following counties: Dougherty, Lee, Calhoun, Early, Sumter, Schley, Worth, Randolph, Crisp, Dooly, Wheeler, Miller, Terrell, Decatur, Quitman, Seminole and Stewart)
More information on the registration process can be obtained by calling the Albany Salvation Army at 229-435-1428.
For cash donations, it is encouraged for donors to contact Hammons at 816-499-1714. Please write a check payable to the Toys for Tots Foundation. All donations made in southwest Georgia stay in the region.
Fundraising events are in the planning stages. Information will be published on the Albany GA Toys for Tots Facebook page as well as the official Toys for Tots page.