April 25, 2014
2:28 am

Toys for Tots Opportunities Abound

It's an annual campaign almost as ubiquitous as the Salvation Army's Red Kettle efforts.  For several decades the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots program has been a part of the holiday landscape and this year is certainly no exception.

While many collection sites across the region will continue for several weeks, the highest profile drive in Michigan's Great Southwest has traditionally gone to efforts at The Orchards Mall where WNDU TV will mark its 19th consecutive year of over-the-air collections for the less fortunate in our midst.

Nearly 334,000 toys for needy children in the region have been collected over the course of the years, and the on-air collection this year is slated to take place this coming Saturday morning, December 7th, from 7am until 10am.  New, unwrapped toys will be collected during that time at The Orchards Mall drop-off site manned by TV personalities and Marine Corps members on site.  

The drop-off site inside the Mall will continue through the season, if you're not able to get there by the time of the broadcast.

Several local Real Estate Brokers have identified themselves as drop-points as well.  Julie Zych is Marketing Director of Coldwell Banker in the region and she says that new, unwrapped toys will be accepted at Coldwell Banker Anchor Real Estate at 2409 Lakeshore Drive in St. Joseph and Coldwell Banker Town & Country Real Estate at 4891 Wil-O-Paw Drive in Coloma through Friday, December 20th.  She tells me that last year over 2,500 families in Southwest Michigan received holiday hlelp and over 10,000 children in our area received toys through Toys for Tots efforts.  

Lauren Kelley is the new Call Coordinator at Keller Williams Realty in St. Joseph.  She tells me that their offices at 815 Highland Avenue in St. Joseph will be collecting toys for the campaign until December 18th.  Drop-offs can be made from 8:30am until 5pm daily until then.  Toys are needed for children of all ages, but especially for teenagers, inasmuch as so many think of the littlest kids first.  Toys for children from infants through the teen years can be dropped off at any official Toys for Tots collection site this holiday season to help make the celebration brighter for everyone.
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