With each day that passes the Christmas holiday gets closer and closer – and the need continues to grow. Ellis County Toys for Tots is working to close the gap so every child can have a gift to unwrap Christmas morning.
Unfortunately, donations are slowing down, said Robert Bell, Ellis County Toys for Tots coordinator.
“One of the biggest challenges this year is toy collection,” he said. “Last year we had over 100 collection boxes out in the county, and they were pretty much flooded with donations, some boxes more than others.
“This year some places have been productive, but the volume has not been anywhere near what we had last year,” he said. “I just left the warehouse and most of the bins are almost empty.”
In 2020, Ellis County Toys for Tots was able to help 2,600 children with 9,498 toys distributed. This holiday season the goal was to help 5,000. With toys leftover from last year and donations brought in so far this year they’re estimating they can help about 2,000 children.
“Right now, the key is the donation of toys,” Bell said. “We have about 150-160 collection boxes that are out throughout the county. We do take monetary donations too. The good thing about monetary donations is we can use those funds to purchase the toys we need.”
Monetary donations can be made online at the nonprofit’s website at https://ennis-tx.toysfortots.org. Ellis County Toys for Tots collects for children ages 0 to 14 years old. Toys must be new and unwrapped. Stuff animals are accepted as well. The only items not accepted by Toys for Tots are clothing and realistic or military-style toy guns. Toy collection sites are listed on the Toys for Tots website by clicking on the “donate a toy” link.
The deadline to apply for toys and to donate toys is Dec. 7.
Information about signing up to receive a donation can be found under the “apply for toys” link on the website. To apply for toys, a person must be an Ellis County resident, have proof of residence like a water bill and proof of age, such as a birth certificate, for their child.
While the organization does have $12,500 worth of toys coming in from corporate donators, only one pallet of those contributions has come in due to shipping delays.
Volunteers are needed to help sort and tag the toys, all of which will benefit children in Ellis County.
“The need is out there, and it is strong,” Bell said. “I get messages every day and phone calls from people short of begging for help because they are in desperate need. If you can wake up on Christmas morning and know you helped one child have a smile on their face it was worth it.”
For more information about Ellis County Toys for Tots, to donate, or to volunteer, email Bell at email@example.com. Updates about the ongoing toy drive can be found on the organization’s Facebook page, Instagram page at toysfortots_ec, and Twitter at @ToysForTots_EC.
Waxahachie Toy Collection Sites
Neighborhood Credit Union
1035 N. Highway 77, Suite 700, Waxahachie
3921 U.S. Highway 287 S., Waxahachie
Texas Department of Public Safety
U.S. Highway 287 Business, Waxahachie
The Mark on Solon
630 Solon Road, Waxahachie
Atwood Ranch and Home
2825 Aspen Way, Waxahachie
Waxahachie Family YMCA
100 YMCA Drive., Waxahachie