Toys For Tots expands collection effort to year-round endeavor
Wed, 05/04/2022 - 9:15am caleb
Donations of toys or money can be dropped off at Crawford County Community Christian Help Center
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
As area residents receive refund checks for income taxes and insurance, local Toys For Tots organizers are hoping people may be willing to donate a little bit to the group’s year-round effort to help provide Christmas gifts to Crawford County children.
“Because we are a small community minimum pay jobs are mainly what are available, making it difficult for a family to provide extra funds at Christmas,” local Toys For Tots officials said. “Many Michigan residents that have auto insurance recently received a $400 return check per vehicle insured. This is a good time to think about making a donation. Grayling has been a generous community in the past.”
The 2021 Toys For Tots effort in Crawford County helped approximately 400 families, and volunteers are hoping to do more this year as they expand their operation from a few months to a year-round endeavor.
“Last year we were able to help 399 families. With the cost of everything rising unfortunately there will be more families needing help,” Toys For Tots officials said.
Volunteers run the local Toys For Tots effort through the Crawford County Community Christian Help Center. They said people can drop off donations – toys or money – to the Help Center, located at 300 Huron Street, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays. Monetary donations can also be mailed to the Crawford County Community Christian Help Center at PO Box 1115, Grayling, MI, 49738.
Toys For Tots officials are hoping area businesses may also be willing to help with the effort.
Last year, in an attempt to bring some fun and competition to the collection process, the local Toys For Tots group created the “Crawford County Toys For Tots Largest Monetary Business Donation” traveling plaque. The winning business gets its name engraved on the plaque and gets to keep it at their establishment for a year. Spike’s Keg ‘O’ Nails won the award in 2021.
Mt. Hope Lutheran Church (905 North I-75 Business Loop) will be hosting a Rummage Sale on Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the proceeds will go to the Toys For Tots effort. Julie McClain, Toys For Tots coordinator, said volunteers are also hoping to have a booth during the AuSable River Festival in July.
“We’re just trying to promote it year round,” McClain said.
Toys For Tots officials said collecting donations during the months leading up to the Christmas holiday season is a significant benefit to the effort because it allows volunteers to purchase toys throughout the year. Toys For Tots volunteers said their “super shopper” Dianne Gregorich is “always looking for sales.”
Toys For Tots volunteers said they appreciate the generosity of local residents.
“We have a great community,” said Nancy Goodyear, Crawford County Community Christian Help Center Director.