Toys for Tots needs your help

With Christmas just a few days away the Toys for Tots program is running a little behind on donations for this years kids.

According to coordinator, Gregg Gardiner, "The program still needs approximately 1,000 toys in order to make sure that all of 4,800 children on the list are taken care of. These are children who may not have a Christmas without the help of our community."

Gardiner added, "It's easy to help. Purchase a toy and drop the unwrapped toy into a bin at any of the following collection locations (see below). Monetary donations can be made online at: . Simply select our location (California/Eureka) and your donation will be directed to local children."

All toys will be sorted, wrapped and distributed to children in Humboldt and Trinity counties by Marine Corps volunteers.

Gardiner added, "We have had donors ask us if a toy is the best gift in this economy. Our answer is that it's a lot more than a toy

to an underprivileged child. That toy represents hope. We know from the smiles on the children's faces and from the sincere appreciation of their parents, that the gift of a brand new toy -- something that many children take for granted -- can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child. Hope is a powerful gift to give a child."

Toys for Tots is part of a national program that began in 1947 by the Marine Corps. Upon conclusion of the 2010 campaign, more than 16.7 million toys had been distributed to nearly 7.2 million children. Additional information is available by calling 443-4880 or on the website:

Donation locations in the Eel River Valley:

* Coast Central Credit Union, Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, McKinleyville, & Weaverville: Until Christmas Eve

* Fernbridge Tractor: Until Christmas Eve

* Ferndale Clothing Co.: Until Christmas Eve

* Murrish Market, Hydesville: Until Christmas Eve

* Redwood Capital Bank, Eureka & Fortuna Branches: Until Christmas Eve

* Redwood Memorial Hospital, Fortuna: Until Christmas Eve

* Spotlight Video, Eureka Harris, Eureka Myrtle, Arcata & Fortuna: Until December 15

* Umpqua Bank, Eureka, Henderson Center, Fortuna, Arcata, McKinleyville, Willow Creek & Garberville: Until Christmas Eve

* UPS Store, Eureka & Fortuna: Until Christmas Eve