MCAS BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Since its inception in 1947, the Toys for Tots foundation has given thousands of families the chance to breathe a sigh of relief during a time of hardship by providing gifts for their children on Christmas morning.
“The purpose of Toys for Tots is to provide hope for children by making sure that they have toys for the holidays,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Frappier, the Toys for Tots coordinator for the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. “These are tough times economically and just because a family is struggling, does not mean that their children shouldn’t get to experience the joy of Christmas.”
Last year, approximately 31,220 toys were donated and distributed throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry, and this year, more than 33,000 toys are expected to be put into the hands of children in need, according to Frappier.
Those interested in donating toys need not go far to find a drop box. Members with Toys for Tots have placed drop boxes aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort at the Officer’s Club and at the Navy Federal Credit Union aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, according to Frappier. Drop boxes are spread throughout Beaufort and can be found at the United Way of the Lowcountry, the Salvation Army, Big Lots, Technical College of the Lowcountry, Weichert Realty offices, Coldwell Bank locations, the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce and others.
“We are only looking for new, unopened toys to distribute to local children in need,” Frappier explained. “We ask those donating toys to use common sense, if they wouldn’t give it to one of their children it should not be donated to Toys for Tots.”
All of the toys donated in Beaufort County will go to children in Beaufort County and approximately 1,700 children are expected to receive toys, according to Chrystie Turner, the director of resource services for United Way of the Lowcountry. Though normal registration to receive toys has finished, anyone still in need of toys can apply via late registration at the United Way of the Lowcountry, located at 2266 Boundary Street. Though toys cannot be promised at this point, any donated toys that are left will be given to those families.
“Anybody who has a friend in need please take the initiative to help,” Frappier said. “Some people are having a tough time accepting the loss of a job, but it is everyone’s job to be a good neighbor and get them the help they need. ”Donations will be accepted through Dec. 15 and anyone interested in volunteering with toy distribution or collection can reach Frappier at (912) 508-1782.
For more information about signing up to receive toys, call United Way of the Lowcountry at 982-3040.
Toys can be donated now through Dec. 15. Approximately 31,220 toys were donated and distributed throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry last year and more than 33,000 toys are expected this year.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Frappier, the Toys for Tots coordinator for the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry, holds a donated toy during last year’s drive.