Last year, 3,100 children received toys in Smith County, said Larry Adkins, Toys for Tots coordinating officer.
“There's children who won't have a Christmas without Toys for Tots, and the idea of a child getting nothing for Christmas breaks my heart,” he said.
Toys for Tots is the largest outreach program in the Department of Defense, and began in 1947 when Maj. Bill Hendricks, a Marine reservist living in California, worked with other Marines to donate toys to children in the local area.
Toys for Tots Smith County was initiated by the Rose City Detachment (No. 1354) of the Marine Corps League in 2007 and has provided toys to more than 8,000 children, according to a news release.
Applicants who register children must be the parent or legal guardian of the child. The following documents also must be provided at registration: a valid picture ID, proof of residence in Smith County (i.e., utility bill, etc.), birth certificates of children to be registered and court-issued legal document identifying legal guardian (if guardian is registering child) and a valid mailing address and phone number for applicants to facilitate contact with the applicants.
Monetary donations also are accepted. Out of every $100 donated, more than $97 goes toward toys, and the rest goes toward wrapping the gifts, Adkins said.
For more information or to volunteer, please contact Larry Adkins at 903-894-6764 or smithcountytoysfortots @aol.com.