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Toys for Tots needs volunteers


During the holiday season, Toys for Tots provides gifts to children who might otherwise not receive them. But help is needed.

The call is going out for volunteers to fill positions such as: personal shoppers, cart/shopping bag assistants, line attendants, food truck assistants and cleanup crew members.   

The Toys for Tots warehouse is set up at White Oaks Mall as a store for one day on Dec 15. Tables are set for boys and girls and different ages. Families who apply and are approved show up at an assigned time slot and get to pick out what toys they want for their children.

“We do it this way to ensure the child gets a gift they want instead of us just throwing some random items in a bag,” said Master Sergeant Bill Lee, the coordinator for the Sangamon County Toys for Tots Program.

Other organizations are allowed to set up a table at the location. Those include the Minnie O’Beirne Crisis Nursery to provides diapers and wipes, City of Springfield giving hats and gloves, Springfield Urban League providing socks and another organization will hand out blankets.

“We are seven days away from our big event and still have over 240 open volunteer slots that need filled,” Lee said Friday.

The Salvation Army screens the applications, approves and assigns shopping times for the approved applicants and provides a couple of employees to check in and check out the shoppers on the day of the event.

Toys for Tots is a 76-year old charitable Program run by the U.S. Marine Corps
“This year we had 1,183 families submit applications for 3,208 children,” Lee said. “Due to volunteer and monetary reasons, we are only able to approve 656 applications to support 1,819 children.“

Click hereto sign up as a volunteer.