For the 2017 Christmas season, Toys for Tots in Northeast Missouri provided Christmas assistance to 1,331 children in Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, Shelby, and Monroe Counties.

For the 2017 Christmas season, Toys for Tots in Northeast Missouri provided Christmas assistance to 1,331 children in Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, Shelby, and Monroe Counties.  This is a 13.5 percent increase over the 2016 campaign.

“I think one reason for the increase is that people working at minimum wage or just above it are still not seeing any economic relief,” said Toys for Tots Co-coordinator Stacey Nicholas.  “During this holiday season, working families are struggling with higher grocery bills, heating bills, and Christmas.  We are thrilled to be able to help alleviate some of those worries.”

In Marion County, 324 families received assistance.

Toys for Tots of Northeast Missouri covers Marion, Ralls, Lewis, Pike, Shelby, and Monroe Counties.  Some of those counties have active community programs and Toys for Tots is the secondary program in those counties. 

The program offered a number of distribution sites to make it easier on families.  In Marion County, families came to the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center in Hannibal.

Approximately 19 children who are in state care received Christmas gifts.

For the first time, families electing to get their gifts in Pike and Marion Counties were provided an opportunity to self-select gifts for their children.

Over 100 volunteers collected, sorted toys and helped with distribution.

Approximately $18,000 was spent in Northeast Missouri for the purchase of toys.

Douglass Community Services’ RSVP program and Hannibal Parks and Recreation served as

coordinators of the program. NECAC staff provides valuable services for client intake and toy distribution.

“Toys for Tots is a local program. All donations stay locally and it is the local donors and volunteers who make the program a success,” said Nicholas. “By working together, we were able to ensure that children experienced the hope of Christmas.”