Staff Editorial: Toys for Tots encourages donations, volunteering

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Staff Editorial: Toys for Tots encourages donations, volunteering

Toys sit underneath a tree at Kare 11 ready to be delivered to children in need.

Toys sit underneath a tree at Kare 11 ready to be delivered to children in need.

Noah Orloff

Toys sit underneath a tree at Kare 11 ready to be delivered to children in need.

Noah Orloff

Noah Orloff

Toys sit underneath a tree at Kare 11 ready to be delivered to children in need.

This year, Kare 11 is advocating for Marines’ Toys for Tots, a donation-based program which collects and distributes toys to children ages 0-15, according to Toys for Tots Foundation. They accept packaged, unpackaged, and handmade toys.

In St. Louis Park, there are four drop-off locations, but the foundation is active throughout the country, according to Toys for Tots Foundation. In order to receive the toys, families have to file an application, which the Echo Editorial Board believes may prevent some children from receiving toys. Instead, the foundation should accept walk-ins to allow more families to participate.

According to Toys for Tots Foundation, people also have the option to donate money online or to volunteer their time in a distribution warehouse. Both services provide a productive alternative to donating a toy.

The timing of the drive matches with most families’ winter break, meaning children will have time to play with their new toys. However, it is unaligned with holidays other than Christmas, such as Hanukkah. Ultimately the timing makes sense in that people are often encouraged by the holiday season to give back to their community.

The Editorial Board asks people to donate to this cause, while also donating and volunteering year-round. Students need to remember to take initiative by volunteering their time to give back to the community. Within Park, there are many options to get involved, including the Birdfeeder, Perspectives, the St. Louis Park Emergency Program, and lunch donations through the St. Louis Park Public Schools Nutrition Office.

We challenge community members to make volunteering or donating a weekly commitment. In order to truly make a difference, contributing to a cause should be consistent. People should utilize Toys for Tots as a starting point to spark a passion for volunteering.

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