The Toys for Tots 2017 Christmas campaign kick-off was held at 11 a.m. Oct. 8 at Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Morven.
The Toys for Tots Foundation is the largest non-profit organization in the world. It all began in 1947, with a hand crafted doll, Raggedy Ann and a Marine who heard a mother’s prayer that her kids would not get anything for Christmas. Marine Reserve Maj. Bill Hendrick and his wife shared with this less fortunate family. Thus the beginning of Toys for Tots.
Hendrick and members of his Marine Reserve unit collected and distributed 5,000 toys the first year. The seed was planted and Toys for Tots was born. The following year, the Marine Corps Reserve adopted the program and collected and distributed toys in 74 communities nationwide.
The Toys for Tots program has grown tremendously since its inception. Today, Toys for Tots serves nearly 800 local communities covering all 50 states, The District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and The Virgin Islands.
In 2011, Toys for Tots came to Anson County. During the first campaign, organizers say they “were blessed to collect and distribute toys to over 1,500 children.” Since then, the number has grown to more than 3,000 children.
Each year the need get greater. Now more than ever, organizers say they need the assistance of the community, businesses, churches, school and residents to make the program a continued success.
During the Toys for Tots conference held in September at the National Conference Center in Washington, D.C. Anson County’s local campaign was recognized for having a successful campaign each year.
Organizers say donating to Toys for Tots is “a way you can give back to your community and to our less fortunate children/families.”
Anson County residents can support Toys for Tots through a monetary donation or purchasing toys. Toys can be delivered to the following drop-off sites:
• Harvest Ministries Outreach Center
• Grace Senior Center
• Department of Social Services
• Gumby’s, Lilesville
• All schools will have toys drop boxes
Residents will also be able to pick up applications at the above locations and Anson County Health Department. Vancine Sturdivant, Toys for Tots Coordinator stated,
“Christmas is a time of joy, happiness, goodwill and love for our fellowman,” Vancine Sturdivant, local coordinator, said in a statement. “It is a time of giving and helping others, especially those who are less fortunate. I challenge each one of you to give. Bless someone.”
All donations are to be written out to: Toys for Tots/Anson.
For more information, contact Assistant Coordinator Dr. Bernice Bennett 704-694-6616, Secretary Debra Rosebud 704-695-2963 or Vancine Sturdivant 704-848-4412.