Toys for Tots provided Christmas gifts to 1,221 children in Northeast Missouri

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HANNIBAL, Mo. — Toys for Tots in Northeast Missouri provided Christmas assistance to 1,221 children in Northeast Missouri in 2021.  

For the safety of clients and volunteers, all gift requests were pre-boxed again this year.

“While in-person shopping might be the ideal, we have to the keep safety of families and our volunteers at the forefront,” said Stephanie Himmel, Toys for Tots co-coordinator. 

The two counties with the largest increases from 2020 were Monroe County (28 percent increase) and Shelby County (22 percent increase). Toys for Tots of Northeast Missouri covers Marion, Ralls, Lewis, Pike, Shelby, and Monroe Counties.  Some of those counties have active community programs, and Toys for Tots is the secondary program in those counties.   

“Toys for Tots is a national program of the Marine Corps Reserve,” said Aron Lee, unit co-leader.  “All the work is done locally, and money is kept locally.  It is a true gift that businesses, civic organizations and individuals make donations, hold toy drives, and support children at Christmas.” 

“Toys for Tots of Northeast Missouri is extremely grateful for the community support that made Christmas hope possible for 478 families,” Himmel said.  “More than 8,000 toys were distributed this year.” 

More than 50 volunteers collected, sorted toys and helped with distributions across the counties.  

Douglass Community Services, The Salvation Army and Hannibal Parks and Recreation serve as coordinators of the program. 

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