The gift of giving: Toys for Tots

Braxten Blood, Writer

Many people see the holidays as a time of giving. During the holidays, people are more willing to help fulfill other’s needs that are not yet being met. While there are many ways to give to others during the holidays, some of the popular ways to give are volunteering your time, donating money to an organization and donating gifts to children who may not receive them during this special time of the year.

When the time comes, Toys for Tots puts boxes out at various locations around Owatonna. Those boxes are for people who would like to donate new or gently used toys and gifts to underprivileged children who many not receive gifts this year. As Christmas gets closer, the boxes are removed from the locations so they can be sorted for parents to pick out. Trinity Lutheran Church has opened up their doors for a second year in a row to the Toys for Tots organization as their church social hall gets turned into a place where people can pick out gifts for their children. The people picking gifts for their children have to meet certain criteria in order to obtain items from Toys for Tots. Volunteers guide the parents around to the various stations where they can pick out items for their children. Volunteers are also used to watch stations and make sure people are only taking what they are allowed to take.

This shopping experience took place this past weekend and many people obtained gifts that their children may not have gotten otherwise. Many volunteers were needed, but Toys for Tots always manages to draw enough volunteers to make this event happen. Many OHS students volunteered their time in this event. OHS clubs and classes, SHOC, NHS and YSL were particularly helpful with this event. Senior Caitlin Anderson was one of the many OHS volunteers for the event. Anderson’s favorite part was assisting the families pick out toys. Anderson said, “Seeing all of the nice toys that are available for children, and knowing that the families are able to receive these nice toys make the holidays special.”

Toys for Tots is an annual event that affects many people in the surrounding area. It helps give gifts to children who would not see gifts otherwise. The thanks goes to the many volunteers and people that donated and helped put the event together. Toys for Tots is a great organization to give to during this giving time of the year.