It may have been near 70 degrees, but volunteers were thinking Christmas as they hosted a kickoff for the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots campaign Nov. 7 at Oak Orchard/Riverdale American Legion Post 28.
Just one hour into the event, more than 500 toys had been donated.
This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is facing a few changes, said coordinator Bob Davis. The number of locations where collection boxes have been placed has been reduced from 163 in 2019 to 92 in 2020. “The main difference is that many banks and restaurants where we typically place boxes are not open,” he said.
In addition, the number of volunteers who are allowed at the Allen-Harim warehouse in Millsboro, where toys are collected and sorted, is limited to 10 or less. This year, volunteers will be assigned times and dates. “People just can’t show up like we’ve done in the past. The security guard will have a list of names of volunteers for specific times,” Davis said.
Entertainment was provided by the band Hope for Success, the Capital Ringers, singer Joy Schrek and singer Shotgun Willey. Tri-State Canine Response Team, County Cruisers classic cars, Delaware State Police, Indian River Volunteer Fire Department and Sussex County paramedics also took part in the kickoff. The GFWC Zwaanendael Women’s Club from Lewes sold items to raise money for the campaign
Last year, volunteers distributed 15,844 toys to 2,986 children in the Sussex County area.
The campaign runs through Wednesday, Dec. 16. Go to nassau-de.toysfortots.org to make a cash donation, volunteer or request a toy delivery. Toys can be mailed to Toys for Tots, 32446 West Baltimore Court, Millsboro, DE 19966.