Toys for Tots gathers holiday goodness for Perry children

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Like Santa's own elves, the volunteers with Toys for Tots, from left, Betty Hunt, Linda Andorf, Sharon Ulrich, John Andorf, Lisa Battani, Tara Meyers, Steve Kautzky and Mary Kautzky, Not pictured are volunteers Pat Mundy, Brett Andorf, Kevin Haugen and Charlene Beeson.

 

The Perry Toys for Tots campaign got its third annual boost Tuesday morning when Travis Landgrebe, manager of the Fareway food store in Perry, presented a check for $1090.05 to John Andorf, leader of the Toys for Tots program in Perry.

The money was donated at Fareway Nov. 18-25 by customers who rounded up their sales totals to the nearest dollar and gave the difference to Toys for Tots.

“All the donated toys and donated cash is spent locally on Perry children,” Andorf said. “People seem to like giving toys for the little kids, so the 14- to 16-year-olds can be harder to buy for.”

The Andorfs are the local organizers of the Toys for Tots program. The Perry Elks Club at 2823 Willis Ave. will serve as the pickup spot for families this year as the Crossroads Church at 2810 First Ave. undergoes remodeling.

The U.S. Marine Corps donates about 40 percent of the toys and games each year. They delivered their goods Sunday, and local volunteers are spending Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday bagging the goodies for distribution on Friday.

Toys for Tots provides new and unwrapped toys for local children, from infants to 14-year-olds. While toys please the younger children, monetary donations were also accepted in order to purchase gift items for older children and Christmas food baskets.

Andorf said about 275 local children will receive toys and gifts this Christmas through Toys for Tots. He rattled off a long list of local donors, both individuals and local businesses.

Toys for Tots has been in operation since 1947, when the wife of a U.S. Marine wanted to give a homemade doll to charity. Major William Hendricks could not find a charity that gave Christmas gifts to needy children, so he started his own charity. Thus began the national effort and the birth of Toys for Tots.

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