YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Marines Toys for Toys has been coordinating toy drives since 1947. This year, COVID-19 is the ultimate Grinch, making it harder for the organization.
Business across the Valley are putting out bins for Toys for Tots to help children in need this Christmas, but leaders of the organization say they are having trouble finding community partners to help with fundraising.
Hundreds of businesses and other organizations have set out toy donation boxes across Trumbull and Mahoning County, but Marine’s Toys for Tots says they have far fewer people signing up to hold toy drives at a single fundraising event.
“Some places can’t hold the gatherings because of COVID procedures,” said Cesar Moreno, Marine Toys for Tots coordinator.
At this time last year, Toys for Tots had nearly a dozen community partners who would sponsor events. This year, only three have reached out. One of those is Iron House Bar and Grill in Cortland.
“Hopefully, everyone can participate and drop off a toy for a need kid,” said Rick Pregibon, owner of Iron House Bar and Grill.
This is the first year Iron House will sponsor a Toys for Tots event.
“Most of our regular people here are very compassionate to people in the area for donations,” Pregibon said. “We are just here to help out the needy people and make some good Christmases for kids that are less fortunate.”
The Iron House Toys for Tots event is scheduled for Nov. 29, but they will be taking donations at their dropbox anytime until then
If you would like to get involved or become a community partner with Marines Toys for Tots, go to their website toysfortots.org.