Toy Drives at Christmas

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. They are hoping to highlight the impact the Toys for Tots Program has on a national level.

The program began in 1947, but the Foundation wasn’t recognized as a non-profit charity until 1991. In 1947, they distributed 5,000 toys. Currently, the Marine Toys for Tots Program helps distribute an average of 18 million toys to 7 million children annually.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, the non-profit charity, helps by raising funds, purchasing toys, providing materials, managing the funds, soliciting corporate support, educating the public, and handling the day-to-day operations.

Locally, the Russell County campaign distributed 5,490 toys to 496 children in 2021, according to the Toys for Tots website.

To locate information about local campaigns, visit toysfortots.org.

In addition, many other toy runs are hosted around the holiday season, which is a great way to help give back to those in need.

The 18th Annual Toy Run in Phenix City was hosted on November 5. All proceeds from the event helped support the Russell County Child Advocacy Center and the Lazarus Society.

The Russell County Child Advocacy Center provides support and advocates for child sensitive investigations. Also, the Lazarus Society, which is a part of the Saint Patrick Catholic Church, helps meet the needs of the larger community. For instance, they help provide food, clothing, and baby supplies.

The Phenix City Art Center is still accepting stuffed animals for the Police Department. The stuffed animals are given to children for comfort. Toys can be dropped off at the Citizen, 2401 Sportsman Dr., or at the PC Art Center, 1002 Airport Rd. You can contact the center through Facebook.