Toys for Tots is still short of toys as it works to fill potentially thousands of orders in Anson County.
County Toys for Tots leader Vancine Sturdivant said that she had received more than 700 applications by 2:50 p.m. Dec. 2, the deadline to turn them in, but that the Anson County Health Department, Anson County Department of Social Services and county schools still had applications to turn in later that day.
Those hundreds of applications could represent thousands of needy children. Last year, the organization served 3,500 children — its record since Sturdivant began the Anson chapter in 2011.
“You would not believe it,” Sturdivant said of the pile of applications. “We separate them, and you would not believe how many applications are sitting here with six, seven, eight and nine kids on one application.”
The organization began distributing its first toys to those who could pick them up last week after approving the first batches of applications.
“The ones that can’t, the sheriff’s office, Wadesboro Police Department, Lilesville Police Department and Lilesville Fire Department help me deliver,” Strurdivant said.
By 3 p.m. Dec. 2., the organization had filled 157 orders — but not yet started on the applications from Wadesboro, the town that sends the most applications.
Sturdivant blamed the economy for the high demand.
“We had a young lady come in this morning,” she said. “She is a nurse. We filled out her paperwork and she broke down and started crying and tried to explain her situation. She doesn’t even have food. I’m going to buy her Christmas dinner.”
Sturdivant said she has received several donations already, including $2500 from Walmart, $300 from Robbie Hill, $1,400 raised in a motorcycle ride fundraiser, $250 from the town of Ansonville and $100 from each of the other municipality governments, as well as toys sent from the parent organization of Toys for Tots and individual donors. The schools are also each participating in a competition to collect the most toys. The winner will receive a trophy from the organization during its gratitude banquet at South Piedmont Community College’s Lockhart-Taylor center at 6 p.m. Jan. 14.
Still, she said she is short of toys needed to fill orders, and especially needs toys for boys 9 years old and older.
“They want those headphones, the MP3 players, things of that nature,” Sturdivant said. “Board games; a lot of them asked for different board games. You know, like Monopoly, chess and checkers.”
Donations can be taken to Harvest Ministries daily beginning at 10 a.m. each day. Harvest is located behind Pizza Hut and near McDonald’s on U.S. Highway 74 in Wadesboro.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.