Like babes in toy land, volunteers with the Perry Toys for Tots program have been busy bagging up bundles of comfort and joy for our local little ones.
John and Linda Andorf of Perry are the longtime local organizers of the Toys for Tots program, partnering each year with the U.S. Marine Corps to bring toys and games to needy children.
The Perry Elks Lodge served as the staging place for bagging the toys, which will be distributed Thursday and Friday to accommodate COVID-19 protocols. About 450 children will receive toys through this year’s program, Linda Andorf said.
“There was lots of need this year,” Andorf said. “We partner with New Opportunities to provide toys for children, and we have a very generous community who gave lots of money and toys for the program.”
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.
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.