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Floyd County Toys for Tots accepting donations, sign-ups


Floyd County Toys for Tots accepting donations, sign-ups

Forms available at businesses, city halls for families in need

The Marine Corps League of North Iowa and the Floyd County Toys for Tots team are asking for your support to place a smile on a child face during the Christmas Season. Toy boxes for collections are in place throughout the county at local businesses.

Any donations collected in Floyd County will stay in Floyd County.

Monetary donations are also accepted. Make a check donation payable to Toys for Tots Floyd County, Mail to or drop it off at 809 Wisconsin Street in Charles City, IA 50616.

Families in need must pick up and fill out request forms that are to be turned in with other documents at scheduled sign up days across the county.

The request forms can be picked up now at the city halls in Nora Springs, Rockford and Charles City’s, the Charles City Press, KCHA radio station, and Charles City Area Chamber of Commerce office.

A completed form must be turned in at a sign-up day with verification of the need by being on some sort of assistance from the state. Also needed are birth certificates of the children and an Iowa driver’s license or identification card with an address in Floyd County at the time of the sign up.

The sign up schedule is:

n Charles City — Dec. 8 and 10 at the First Wesleyan Church, 913 Main Street in Charles City from 9-11 a.m. and from 6-8 p.m.

n Rockford – Dec. 8 at the Rockford City Hall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.,

n Nora Springs — Dec.10 at the City Hall from 6-8 p.m.

Floyd County residents can go to any of the three sign up locations but must live in Floyd County Toys will be distributed from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, in the Cultural Hall of the First Wesleyan Church.

The Toys for Tots program began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks of the United States Marine Corps Reserve and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to children in need, according to the Toys for Tots website.

The idea started with Hendricks’ wife, Diane. In the fall of 1947, she crafted a homemade doll and asked Hendricks to deliver it to an organization, which would give it to a child in need at Christmas.

He found out that no agency existed. She said he should start one. He did.

The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign.

That year, Marine Corps Reserve units across the nation conducted Toys for Tots campaigns in each community in which a Marine Reserve Center was located. Marines have conducted successful nationwide campaigns at Christmas each year since 1948. The initial objective that remains the hallmark of the program today is to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children.”

From 1947 through 1979, Marines collected and distributed new and used toys. From Christmas 1980 through the present, Marines have collected and distributed only new toys, according to a news release from the Floyd County Toys for Tots team.

Three factors dictated this change. First, the Secretary of Defense’s Total Force Program, introduced in the 1970’s, assigned reserves a greater role in America’s defense posture. As a consequence, reservists had to dedicate every minute of weekend drill time to honing and polishing combat skills. No time was available to refurbish toys.

Second, public awareness of the health and safety aspects of toys that developed during the 1970s made distribution of used toys legally inadvisable.

Third, distributing “hand me down” toys does not send the message Marines want to send to needy children. The goal is to deliver a message of hope, which will assist in building self-esteem and, in turn, motivate less fortunate children to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders. A shiny new toy is the best means of accomplishing this goal, the release said.

Last year the North Iowa MCL chapter served 1,700 Children and 8,700 toys were distributed to children in the local area.

The Floyd County Team members include Henry Vogelman, Dale Stern, Robert Scheurer, Jim Marlow, Algie Slindee and William Vetter.

Staff report

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