The local Toys for Tots chapter is in critical need of volunteers this year

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The Toys for Tots campaign is underway and this year they are in critical need of volunteers. Last year, Toys for Tots had around 300 volunteers to help collect and distribute toys to children for the holidays.

“Saturdays and Sundays, including Black Friday, which is maybe the biggest day of the year, but we need right now, we need people on Sunday,” said Gregg Gardiner, the Northern California coordinator for Toys for Tots. “We have a critical shortage right now as our campaign kicks off.”

Volunteers stand outside of collection locations for either a full or half-day shift. They collect toys and cash.

“Toys for Tots is a program that makes sure that needy children at Christmas time get a new toy so they can experience the same joy that you and I did growing up as a child,” Gardiner said.

This Toys for Tots chapter serves thousands of children in Northern California which includes, Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity counties. All of the toys and money donated stay in that community. The last day to donate is December 17 because distribution takes a while. 

“For example, in Weaverville, you know, [distribution] it’s three hours. In Eureka, it’s three days,” Gardiner said. “So it depends on where you are and how big the communities are and all of that information is also online.”

For people interested in volunteering they can call (707) 442-0580 to sign up. To receive a toy, families can sign up through their child’s school or on the Toys for Tots website.