Toys for Tots in GREAT NEED of toys!

UPDATE ON DEADLINE FOR DONATIONS: Gunnery Sargeant Edward Barrett says “Dec 21 is the last day for almost all locations. We are trying to get to all 600+ today and tomorrow with the help of the moving company 2 Men and a Truck. People can bring donations to our Marietta warehouse anytime between now and Dec 23. Our goal is to have all toys that have been donation in the hands of the charities that have requested them by the evening of Dec 23.”

Even though I finished shopping for my kids’ toys several weeks ago, I’m heading back out to Target this morning to pick up some toys for the Toys for Tots program.

WSB reported on Friday that the Toys for Tots charity is about 675,000 toys short this year!!

The Marines who run the program had requests for more than 900,000 toys but as of Friday only had about 225,000. (I assume this number is national. They didn’t specify in the report.)

Obviously due to the bad economy more families are in need and also due to the bad economy fewer families are donating.

I wanted to encourage all our readers, if you can, to donate just one new toy to Toys for Tots. There are lots of places to drop off and you can even buy the toy there. Publix and Toys ‘R’ Us stores are drop-off locations and you buy the toy inside. (It couldn’t be any easier.) You don’t have to wrap it or anything.  There are tons of other local businesses that are accepting donations too. You can check the map here.

It’s too heartbreaking to think of 600,000 children waking up with no toys under their trees! (Why didn’t Santa Claus bring us any toys? They won’t understand why they have been “forgotten!”)

(I’ll probably post a second topic around noon but I just wanted to get the word out about this need!)

53 comments Add your comment

Photius

December 21st, 2009
8:06 am

Out of all the topics Christ discussed, the poor ranked #1 in his commentaries. It is our moral obligation to help those in need.

motherjanegoose

December 21st, 2009
8:10 am

Theresa, I just discussed this last night with my son. I plan to run by with a few things today.
As I have mentioned before, if everyone does a little…a lot can be done, Photius, now is the time for those of us who talk the talk of Christianity, to walk the walk …thanks for the reminder!

MaryKay

December 21st, 2009
8:14 am

The Toys for Tots thing is a good idea.

One thing I wonder about: alot of toy stores collect for this program (Toys-r-Us). You can buy the toy there and donate it right in the store. That’s nice. However, with such high markups these days, it’d be great if these toy stores would give a 25-50% discount off all toys that are purchased and given to the program in the store. Surely they could forgo most of their profit on those items.

Win-win situation. You go to the store to buy toys for your own children (the store makes money) and you buy an extra toy for the program (at the discount) and the Toys for Tots wins.

Hi there

December 21st, 2009
8:20 am

I think if you have kids you should just buy an extra gift for them to give to the toy drop off, but I do know that more and more families are having a tough time this year and aren’t able to do all that they may have done in the past. It’s a tough year for everyone and I just hope more people find a little extra to give at least one gift.
Thanks for getting the word out and hopefully we’ll get that number down.

Hi there

December 21st, 2009
8:22 am

PS. I hope the “parties” went well last week and you didn’t lose your mind or gain a few extra grays. :-)

Dawn

December 21st, 2009
8:28 am

This year, instead of buying gifts for each other, my husband and I went out and bought toys to donate for Toys for Tots. We have more than enough stuff, no children of our own yet and really wanted to do something to make the focus of this Christmas on others and not ourselves. This is such a great program and brought us so much joy!

motherjanegoose

December 21st, 2009
8:29 am

@ Mary Kay…my neighbor mentioned to me that her mother gets for the buy one get one things and Publix and then take thee FREE sack to the local food pantry. I thought that was a great idea.

@ Hi there…a good suggestion too. When your children are involved in an charity venue they will learn from watching you. I am not a finalist for Mother of the Year but my kids are both charity minded as we have demonstrated this with them since they were very small and they have volunteered in these types of venues. They saw my husband and I doing it while they were young and continue as they grew.

motherjanegoose

December 21st, 2009
8:31 am

ooops…typos galore….gets the buy one free things at Publix and then takes the FREE sack…sorry!

Isaiah

December 21st, 2009
8:44 am

Chag Sameach

SG

December 21st, 2009
8:57 am

I looked on the Toys-R-Us site and it said the cutoff for the Toys-for-Tots in store drive to buy/donate was Dec 6. Has this been extended?

FCM

December 21st, 2009
9:10 am

The Chef’s of Atlanta held their Annual Christmas Party last Friday night. I am pleased to say that the participants of the party helped out greatly with Toys for Tots. The 3 Marines present were very appreciative that people contributed.

My living community had a cut off date of yesterday. At this point it is going to be difficult to find a drop off place that is still open. Please check for your local Marine Recuiter office as they will likely still be donating.

Also Hosea Feed the Hungry has a Toy Outreach program. They too have children in need and their drop off may be closer. Lastly, check the Clark Howard site for the Clark Kids. These are foster children who may otherwise not receive a gift.

I encourage everyone to think of the OLDER kids (10 – 18) when they contribute, as the younger kids are usually well supplied.

Lots of Christmas Blessings to everyone!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 21st, 2009
9:34 am

My mother said the cutoff was this Wednesday — I will call the Toys for Tots — their Web site didn’t say a date. I’ll call and get right back to you!!

I’m so glad everyone is so receptive. I wasn’t trying to be pushy. but I did feel like the cause needed some publicity.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 21st, 2009
9:44 am

I cannot get through on the main Toys for Tots line — it’s busy. However, I emailed their media person so we’ll see if they write back. In the short term though I called my Publix and she said they are still collecting but their collection ends TONIGHT —- so it seems like at the very least we can drop off at Publix. Let me call a few more around the city —

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 21st, 2009
9:47 am

Another Publix store said their collection box says it ends tonight — I am wondering if that will be extended due to the low collection —— So I think we have at least today to donate something —- I will let you guys know if there is an extension as soon as I hear from the Toys for Tots media person.

Active Duty Mom

December 21st, 2009
10:18 am

You can also donate online at the following web address: http://www.toysfortots.org/

motherjanegoose

December 21st, 2009
10:22 am

@ theresa….to me, this is not pushy. It is not like a church venue for your own church. This is a national group that is helping children who are in need. I am surprised that you do not have more folks who are on board with this today but perhaps they are overwhelmed with other things to do before Friday. Thanks for the reminder.

On the flip side, we sponsored 3 little grannies at a nursing home and bought their gifts. I had a bit of trouble finding clip on earrings. One wanted DOVE body wash, as one of her items…imagine it? That was such a simple request.

YUKI

December 21st, 2009
10:34 am

I love the idea of giftf for the grannies at the nursing home. What a wonderful thing to do (in addition to toys for children). She wanted Dove bodywash. How cute is that! I hope you got her a big old supply. What a great idea for next year.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 21st, 2009
10:42 am

The Girl Scouts do cookies for the residents at one of the Sunrise Living centers — people donate cookies during the drive and then the girls add in more from their troop money so every resident gets at least one box. they also make them cards and then visit with them for a little while. We missed the visitation last year because Rose was sick but the leader said it was so wonderful.

RJ

December 21st, 2009
11:14 am

Thanks Theresa for this update. I will definitely be making a drop off today at Publix.

motherjanegoose

December 21st, 2009
11:20 am

@ YUKI…yes I bought a giant bottle of Dove. She also wanted a sweater and brooch ( sp?) . I found a pretty pink sweater with sparkles on it and also then threw in a sparkly bracelet with Christmas charms.

My daughter had a party for her girlfriends and she asked them each to bring a canned good for the co-op. I thought that was neat.

She learned an important lesson at her party.. She paid her own money to rent our clubhouse, for the paper goods, sodas and cooked an appetizer. She asked her friends to each bring a large snack to share and a canned good. One girl brought a BAG OF M AND M’s. She told me, “next time, I am going to have to tell them WHAT kinds of snacks I mean…” since she cooks, she was thinking more on the line of appetizers not a bag of Doritos. Of course, her homemade appetizers were the first to go. My sister and I got a chuckle of of it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 21st, 2009
12:20 pm

From Gunnery Sergeant Edward Barrett, Atlanta Toys for Tots Coordinator —-

Dec 21 is the last day for almost all locations. We are trying to get to all 600+ today and tomorrow with the help of the moving company 2 Men and a Truck. People can bring donations to our Marietta warehouse anytime between now and Dec 23. Our goal is to have all toys that have been donation in the hands of the charities that have requested them by the evening of Dec 23.

Becky

December 21st, 2009
12:28 pm

We donate to Toys every year..Every child should have a good Christmas..IMO..

@MJG, that is a great thing to do for the grannies..I think I’ll look into that near where I live..

Hope all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..Talk to y’all next year..

motherjanegoose

December 21st, 2009
12:47 pm

Not trying to hog the blog but I am looking at the Walgreen’s ad now and they have a coupon for HOT WHEELS cars for 49 CENTS and UNO and other card games for $4.99. I am going to dash over there today. Just letting you guys know.

@ Becky…it is hard to believe that those grannies are neglected. My husbands grandmother is 93 and in an old folks home. I mentioned this to him last week and we went to the store and he said to me, “Just pick out whatever you think she would like….I will get it as I have wonderful memories of my grandmother.” We got 2 pair of snuggly p.j.s with socks to match and some snacks. She is in bed most of the time now but still wants to look nice. I shipped those off on Friday and hope she enjoys them!

[...] (Toys for Tots needs about 600,000 more toys for Christmas. See my previous entry for info about how… [...]

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 21st, 2009
1:59 pm

Target has Barbies for $5 and Play Doh for $1.25 for 3 packages. Also some cheap jig saw puzzles for $3. So got a bunch of that stuff and going to drop off at Publix now.

FCM

December 21st, 2009
2:09 pm

Everyone is doing great with the cheap Barbies and the match box….what about the older kids? Is there some cut off when underprivledged children aren’t children? Is that different from our children?

Try some board games, they are not too expensive at Walmart and Target. I saw the Twilight game in the box at our Publix. I am impressed someone would get the older kids something.

My eldest was holding her new–just opened the wrap present from a friend, she got near the box and I almost died! She wanted to see what was in it, but not give her toy away or get accused of taking it. I ushered her out the door with admonishment. OF COURSE we did do something for the underprivlidged children this year too.

MaryKay

December 21st, 2009
3:23 pm

Speaking of charity giving, who’s going to give MILF Hunter what he’s been wanting?

wmsmommy

December 21st, 2009
3:51 pm

What is the address of the Marietta warehouse?

motherjanegoose

December 21st, 2009
4:44 pm

@ FCM, I appreciate your concern. My charitable projects were already finished last week and I was just trying to pitch in a little extra as I had heard of the need on the radio and also read it in Theresa’s blog. Perhaps those who had not yet planned for a charitable venue could pitch in for the older kids?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 21st, 2009
4:50 pm

I would guess that this is it —

Marietta Headquarters
2009 Atlanta Toys For Tots Warehouse
1280 Field Parkway NW
Marietta, GA 30066

(678) 225-4599

Ali

December 21st, 2009
5:08 pm

Our daycare/school in E Cobb filled up 6 bins that have not been picked up as of this morning. I thought this was another good idea because we all used it as a lesson for our kids to give to others.

FCM

December 21st, 2009
5:15 pm

Well MJG obviously you have done your part so I would not necessarily be speaking to you. I truly believe that the older kids get over looked.

I adopted 3 kids 13 – 16 from Clark’s kids. The helpers almost cried. They told me the older kids are often left to last or don’t get anything. Nobody has problems getting a doll for a 3 yo or 6 yo. It is almost like the age of disbelieving (about 9 – 12 yo)–you know disbelief in Santa or Magic–is the age that people stop buying/caring. It is at this age the kids need it more than ever. I have held this belief for years. It was reinforced when I saw Blind Side. MJG I know you saw that movie, you said you did, you should understand what I am saying.

Michael Oher closed his eyes to what was around him and believed when he was long past the age of disbelieving. Good thing he did or he could be just another statistic instead of the inspiration he can be (let’s hope) or memeber of the family that took him in.

sk

December 21st, 2009
5:51 pm

Walgreen’s has buy 1 get 1 free toys for like $7. Easy decision. 7$ to help 2 kids.

Debbie Bradshaw

December 21st, 2009
7:40 pm

My kids received toys for tots when they were kids. Now they are grown, I had them give back. My son and daugher and myself gave last year. This year we can’t because we got hit by the recession. We can only send our love.

[...] UPDATE ON DEADLINE FOR DONATIONS: Gunnery Sargeant Edward Barrett says “Dec 21 is the last day for almost all locations. We are trying to get to all 600+ today and tomorrow with the help of the moving company 2 Men and a Truck. …Read Original Story: Toys for Tots in GREAT NEED of toys! – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog… [...]

Lawrencevillemom

December 21st, 2009
9:31 pm

Every year we take our teenage daughters (and this year the boyfriends) and each girl/couple (including my husband & I) get $100 and we shop to see which team can get the coolest toys. This is their favorite part of the giving of Christmas. We shopped this past Sat. night and dropped it off at the local fire station.

Drexel Gal

December 21st, 2009
10:12 pm

Yes. Christ spoke adamantly about helping the poor … but He did NOT say anything about providing TOYS. And, the government and taxpayers are not responsible, either. Don’t try the “Robin Hood” argument … because it won’t work. Robin Hood was an ENEMY of the government (Sheriff of Nottingham … remember?). And, in Robon Hood’s (and Christ’s) day, people were poor for different reasons than in the 21st Century. Back then, they were poor because a breadwinner keeled over from plague or flu (or having fallen in battle with no GI Bill). Today, it is usually due to drugs … such as, meth or crack. So, follow the advice of the old adage … TEACH a man (or woman or child) to fish, and feed him/her for a LIFETIME, rather than giving him/her a fish, and feeding him/her for a day.

That is my opinion. I do NOT welcome yours.

Gen Neyland

December 21st, 2009
10:51 pm

Drexel Gal : There is nothing wrong with your arguement. One is entitled to their opinion on charity. All I will say is it’s good for the heart and spirit to help when and if one can. Although we’re one job down in my household, we still were able to help a local drive for children with clothing for Christmas presents. No hotweels or XBoxes, but something needed. I figure ,”What will I do without by giving a little something..?”

Allie

December 21st, 2009
10:59 pm

@ Drexel Gal – I know you don’t welcome my opinion but you put yours out there, and we live in a country of free speech so I’m gonna give mine anyway. True, drug addiction is a huge problem, but that’s not the only reason that the “breadwinner has keeled over”. Let’s look at the high cancer rates, high heart disease rates, the price of life many of our military have given for their country, etc.

It’s not the kids’ fault their families are less well off than others, and if we’re able to brighten just one day for them, why shouldn’t we? And maybe many of these parents are working, but using their paychecks for other things – keeping a roof over their heads, keeping food on the table, keeping their children in clothes and shoes.

MaryKay

December 22nd, 2009
7:17 am

So, Drexel Gal thinks people are poor because of drug use? What an idiotic and stupid statement. Yes, there is drug use in the “poor” community – and in the “hood” as she actually meant.

But, there are many more reasons why people are poor.

I’m surprised she actually knows what Christ said – because clearly she doesn’t KNOW Christ, as she shows none of his compasion or caring.

BTW Drexel Gal – have you bothered to teach any poor people how to fish or do you just mock them?

FCM

December 22nd, 2009
7:38 am

@ Drexel I agree with Allie. You had no problem stating your opinion but then said you did NOT welcome anyone stating different. Why bother blogging.

Christ did tell us to help the poor. However if you read the Laws (which Jesus being a good Jew would have followed) or even follow history there was what we call a Deserving and Undeserving poor. The parents (and I use that loosely) that use their money to buy to drugs rather than feed their children, or who do not look for work, or cry for the government to help them are what we call the Deserving poor — they made their bed.

The Parents who truly struggle — jobs were outsourced to foreign markets, are widowed, who have medical/cancer bills eating their savings, etc — are the Undeserving poor. These people are doing the best they can to provide for the family, and like Job their circumstances changed overnight.

The Laws and Christ told us to help the undeserving poor. He may not have meant toys. So, give a donation to CHOA to Susan Koeman, or go to a Women’s Shelter and help out. There are pleanty of Undeserving Poor who need your help. Most of them wish they didn’t. However, these days a child doesn’t understand why they cannot have Santa fulfill a wish…and should they? Maybe it is true a young child should not and a child at the age of disbelieving should. That is why I asked it earlier.

Kenny Rogers sang “It is just another homemade Christmas in KY. Just odds and end I fashioned with my heart and with my hands.”

As to Robin Hood and Nottingham…Nottingham created his poor by taking everything he could find and keeping the peasants oppressed and starved. He took the alms (pennies for the poor) from the church coffers. He took the livestock and farm goods to feed his men leaving next to nothing to feed the people who worked the fields, and he trampled the fields. To top it off he took the peasants (and this includes the children) for his own nefarious avrices. Do NOT delude yourself into thinking Nottingham (government) was on the side of the right…he was a corrupt tyrannt of the worst sort.

Robin Hood was an outlaw. He took from Nottingham that which Nottingham had stolen and returned it. This is not unlike the Forefathers of America, those men who signed the Declaration of Independence, whom by the way were outlaws/treasonsist to Mother England. In the words of our early Revolutionists — “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” (D of I 2nd Paragraph).

You may NOT want our opinions, but when you come to start a fight, you should come armed with facts not some conjecture you wrap your ignorance in to make you feel comfortable.

MaryKay

December 22nd, 2009
8:27 am

motherjanegoose

December 22nd, 2009
8:41 am

When I was a little girl, we sang a Sunday School song about JOY, and it stood for
JESUS. OTHERS, YOU. There are those who do not agree on who to help and there are those who help no one but themselves….this is sad.

Any child who observes his/her parents helping others at Christmas and all throughout the year will probably grow up and continue the tradition. Just like any other behaviors that are modeled. I applaud the parents who are out there pitching in and showing their children that actions speak louder than words.

Here is something that I observed this year while speaking with hundreds of smaller children and I cannot put a finger on it….I asked the children to tell me one thing they would like for Christmas…

In the lower socioeconomic areas, many children were asking for expensive things like IPODS and electronic “toys” that would cost well over $100 per item.
In the more well heeled areas, the children would ask for a train, a doll, a puppy, a flashlight, an easy bake oven etc.

Not sure what to think here…does anyone have any ideas?

FCM

December 22nd, 2009
10:11 am

MJG not sure — we are not low socio-eco nor is the area we live in. My kids want Iphones from Santa. I have no idea why they think they need them or where they got the idea they should have them. Santa is not bringing them IPhones.

For Thanksgiving they were asked what they were most thankful for one child said God who sacraficed himself for us (she is 7 and she said this on a school paper–and did not need psych evaluation) and the other said her family. So I do think they have their priorities right.

Alecia

December 22nd, 2009
12:11 pm

I made my daughter choose a toy that she really wanted and had her donate it to Toys for Tots over the weekend. She did not like it, because she wanted the toy herself (too bad). I explained to her that Santa does not make it to every house and we need to help. She, just like a bunch of other kids do not realize how lucky they are. My daughter, like the previous poster wants an IPhone (she’s 6). I think a dose of reality is just what is she needs from Santa. Of course there will not be an IPhone or any cell phone for her under the tree.

MotherJaneGoose-The kids in the “upper bracket” have parents that are well grounded. I own several rental properties, and assure you that come January, those that can not pay their rent will be the ones that had a real fat Christmas. This is how the parents in the “upper bracket” got to where they are today.

Jane

December 22nd, 2009
12:24 pm

FCM and Alecia – you both stated that Santa will not be bringing your kids iPhones. How do you know what Santa may or may not bring?

FCM

December 22nd, 2009
1:52 pm

Jane — Because I told the elf on the shelf to tell Santa NO iPhone. If the elf wants to be on the shelf next year he will get the message through.

Alecia

December 22nd, 2009
3:37 pm

I let her know that mom and dad have the final say so in what she gets from Santa. I also explained to her that Santa has so many presents to deliver that he will be thinking in a practical way and be fortunate that we are not in one of the houses Santa may not reach. This again is why it was important to pick out a cool gift for Toys for Tots. Besides, she might end up with kids in her class that got “short changed” from Santa. No better way to put the end to Santa than to have kids around that might not get anything from him. I try to explain to her that in life not everything “magically” appears while still trying to keep the fun in Christmas. When she has a part time job and can pay for the IPhone herself, then fine.

Private

December 23rd, 2009
7:45 am

One thing is that I do NOT agree with people applying for toys for tots if your children allready get toys. Just because you are low income, even if you can buy your children a few toys you should not take from those because some kids do not get ANY. Plus some younger teens get nothing! That being said I am totally against families applying even low income when they can buy there kids some toys. I don’t like people who take from the government. It annoys me seeing a person buying $200-600 in food (paying with food stamps) but driving around in a new car and a Coach hand bag. My mom and I struggle to buy food but have not qualified for foodstamps yet, times are hard for us but we do not take from the government unless absolutely neccesary. I do not have children so I try and buy 1 toy every year for toys for tots and it is fun to think of a child receiving a gift that I had picked out. I bought a nice large musical keybord one year for ten dollars and a nice sky dancer, which was originally more but on SALE for $9 another year and then one year I bought a ten dollar toy and a three dollar dora the explorer dominos set. I mean I think everyone should donate. When I used to work at a gas station I asked my boss to donate but she is too CHEAP but she can buy her kids, ipods, laptops, cars and whatever they want. It makes me upset. Then I met this other lady who is wealthy, she refused to buy a toy also and she gets all her bills paid. I found out she was managing her sons restaraunt and lives in his guest house FREE and has NO bills and gets Social Security illegally… That makes me sooooooo mad! She can take from the government and steal money and is soooo super cheap… People reap what they sew… Don’t believe in giving blessings and you will be returned 10x over ?? It’s true, do good to people and in return you are blessed. Some people are so scrooge – like. It is really sad.

Another thing.. How much did Toys for Tots make this 2009 year ?????? It upsets me that they do not tell on the news now that they have all the toys in and it is past the deadline. We want to know if they made it. As citizens we are concerned also, so please someone if you know please post how much they made this year.. Thanks!

Private

December 23rd, 2009
7:53 am

6 year old wanting iphones or cell phones ????? I am sorry but that is outrageous!!! What 6 year old wants that !!!!

Seriously…. I have heard of maybe 11 year olds but not that young. They mostly want barbies, baby dolls, etc….

I am sorry but I know of a lot of parents buying there children / teens ipods and phones for Christmas, expensive items… That is not what you should buy your child, no matter how much they want it.

I got my first phone when I was 15… It was lost and had to get another one…

Kids lose and break expensive things, let friends borrow, etc… So it is not worth it, just crazy to buy.

The only reason I wanted one is because EVERYONE ELSE HAD ONE… Now I realize who cares…

Buy them clothes and things they NEED not want… Maybe a ipod or cell phone if they are 15 + years old.

It makes me upset that a parent would buy an 11 year old a phone, how crazy!