Local branches of the Marine Corps League will begin their annual Toys for Tots Charity Drive this week.
According to a news release from John Pradelski, local coordinator for Toys for Tots, donation boxes will be set up across Fulton and Montgomery counties this week.
Toys for Tots was established in 1947, with its goal to allow all children the joy of opening a toy on Christmas morning.
According to its website, the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Program has distributed more than 469 million toys to more than 216 million less-fortunate children.
“Last year, area residents donated almost 3,000 toys, while over 1,200 toys were either purchased locally or donated by our corporate sponsors,” the news release said. “Because of that, we were able to distribute over 3,700 toys to nearly 1,600 needy children in Fulton and Montgomery counties. This success was due mainly to the generosity of our local people and businesses.”
Pradelski said more than $5,000 in cash was donated last year.
According to Pradelski, the number of local families signing up for Toys for Tots has increased, jumping by more than 10 percent last year from the year before.
Pradelski said the program has boxes set up for donations in more than 50 local businesses and offices.
Pradelski said parents and legal guardians can sign up to receive toy donations Nov. 23 and Dec. 7 between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Jansen Avenue School in Johnstown.
Toys for Tots accepts any new, unwrapped toy. Cash donations also are welcome, and checks can be made out to “Toys for Tots” and sent to 207 Byard St., Johnstown, NY 12095.
All of the donations go to people in Fulton and Montgomery counties.