Toys for Tots coming to Harvey County

Chad Frey
cfrey@thekansan.com
For the first time, Toys for Tots will be in Harvey County, with distribution on Dec. 12.

In the middle of a pandemic, with ever-increasing COVID-19 case numbers, a new form of relief for families at Christmas is arriving in Harvey County.

This year marks the first time the county will receive Toys for Tots toys.

“It is a true blessing for Harvey County United Way to be a recipient of Toys for Tots gift distribution this year,” said David Decker, Harvey County United Way board member and director of business services at USD 373. “With the struggles of uncertainty surrounding health, mental wellness, and the added stress that the holidays can bring to household pocketbooks, we are pleased that this event will provide a form of relief for families in our community.”

In partnership with Good360 and USD 373 Newton Public Schools, Harvey County United Way will distribute toys to local kids through the Toys for Tots program from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 12 at McKinley Administrative Center, 308 E. 1st St.

“Truly, there are few moments as heart-warming as witnessing the smile of a child, we hope to spread this joy throughout our communities this holiday season,” Decker said.

Toys will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

Toys will be grouped by age and each family will be able to receive two toys per child from their designated age group. Families wishing to take part in this program must live in Harvey County.

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects and distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children each year during the holiday season through a network in more than 800 local communities in all 50 states. The program is in its 73rd year. Since 1947, over 265 million children have been assisted.

The Marine Corps Reserve program announced a partnership with Good360 in April.

“Good360 is proud to join forces with Toys for Tots to bring some joy and support to families with children,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360. “We are seeing a dramatic rise in demand for a wide variety of personal and household items, including toys. We are pleased to be able to leverage our vast nonprofit distribution network to provide a measure of relief to families weathering this crisis.”

Good360 is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Alexandria, Va. The organization's mission is to help companies donate excess merchandise to charities instead of destroying it. In 2015, it was ranked the 39th largest charity in the United States by Forbes magazine.

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, only one adult from each family will be allowed to enter the building to pick up toys. All guests will have their temperature checked and be required to wear a mask while in the facility.

For more information, visit www.harveyunitedway.org.