Marine Toys for Tots holding Drive-Thru events to Collect Toy Donations

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Several drive-thru events will be held in November to collect toys for this year’s U.S. Marine Toys for Tots drive in Chautauqua County.

Typically, collection boxes are placed in more than 100 businesses throughout the area during the holiday season, so local residents can drop off donations of new, unused toys. Because of the virus, there will not be as many collection boxes this year, so organizers of the Toys for Tots have had to come up with new ways to collect toys.

Drive-thru collection events will be held Saturday, November 7, in the Foote Avenue plaza in Jamestown; Saturday, November 14, at Kirk’s Jewelers on Vineyard Drive in Dunkirk; and Saturday, November 28, at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood. The hours for each event are 10:30 to 2:30. State and federal virus guidelines will be followed.

Members of the Southern Tier Storm Soccer Academy will assist with the November 7 event, while some Exceptional Stars Athletes will help with the event November 28 at the mall.

This marks the 20 th straight year The Resource Center is coordinating the Toys for Tots drive in Chautauqua County. Assisting in operating the campaign again this year are Chautauqua Connections, Inc., and the Chautauqua Connections Children’s Coalition. For the sixth straight year, Allied Alarm Services has donated the use of its facilities to store the toys that are donated.

Begun in 1947, the Marine Toys for Tots campaign seeks to deliver a message of hope to less-fortunate children throughout the United States by providing them with toys for Christmas. More than 700 toy drives are held nation-wide each year. The Resource Center has led the local toy drive since 2001. Last year, 3,289 Chautauqua County children received gifts.

This year, applications must be submitted online at www.jamestown-ny.toysfortots.org. Children age 17 and younger whose families meet household income guidelines are eligible for assistance through Toys for Tots. Families may apply for toys until December 13; for agencies, community groups and schools, applications will close December 4.

The Resource Center’s primary mission is supporting people with special needs. While many people with disabilities benefit from Toys for Tots each year, TRC also coordinates the annual toy drive in order to give back to the community. Though TRC, Chautauqua Connect ions and the Connections Chjldren’s Coalition organize the toy campaign, support from area residents and businesses makes the effort a success.

Cash donations are welcome, as the money is used to buy gifts for children in age groups that typically do not receive a lot of toy donations. People can donate via the Toys for Tots web site, or they can mail a check (made payable to Toys for Tots) to The Resource Center, 200 Dunham Avenue, Jamestown, NY, 14701.

Updates on the toy drive can be found by visiting the Chautauqua County, New York – Toys for Tots 2020 Facebook page.