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Toys for Tots runs through Dec. 13

MORRIS - This year's Toys for Tots program, sponsored by the Salvation Army, is accepting donations for children in need in Stevens County through Dec. 13. This year's Wish Tree (clothing) is being co-sponsored by the Morris Women of Today and the Salvation Army, and trees will be sponsored and up in both Shopko and Town and Country Supply.

Last year 375 children benefited from these programs and it looks like needs this year will exceed those numbers, said Salvation Army Field Representative Peggy Kill.

The Toys For Tots Project provides Christmas toys/gifts for children in need in Stevens County. Parents are invited to attend a distribution site where they can personally choose gifts for their children. Kill feels it is important for parents to personally choose these gifts as they know their children best; not all little girls want a doll for Christmas and may instead like to play with a tractor or truck.

Kill's goal for this year's program is to provide each child one nice gift (and batteries if needed), a stocking stuffer (those smaller items such as coloring books, crayons, finger nail polish, etc.), a new pair of mittens, hat, or scarf, and a new book or puzzle. They would also like to offer one new game for each family to encourage family night for parents and children. Additionally, they would also like to offer at least one new quilt or blanket to each family.

Many area businesses including the Thrift Store will be having drop boxes to encourage their customers to donate a new unwrapped toy/gift.

Donations should be received by no later than Thursday, Dec. 13. Several local businesses are also doing internal drives and collections within their business and if you would like someone to stop and pick up your donations, please call.

Cash donations are also always welcomed. Many local businesses offer discounts and assistance in purchasing items needed for this project. Checks can be made out to The Salvation Army - Toys For Tots Program and either dropped off at the Morris Thrift Store or mailed to P.O. Box 225 in Morris.

The Wish Tree is designed to assist children with clothing items. People wanting to "adopt" a child for Christmas can go to Shopko or Town & Country and adopt an ornament off the tree. Information regarding a child in need is listed on the ornament; child's age, sex, sizes, and favorite colors. The ornament is then registered and you are given instructions on returning the gift for distribution at the store you picked up the ornament at.

If you are able to help a local child have a much brighter Christmas, please consider either or both of the projects listed. If you have questions or concerns (or would like to register your child(ren) for either program), please feel free to contact Peggy Kill with The Salvation Army at (320) 589-2329.