Toys for Tots organizers concerned after Toys ‘R’ Us shut down

Local News

A major toy retailer shut its doors earlier this year, now Toys for Tots volunteers are concerned about the impact it will have on donations this holiday season. 

Toys ‘R’ Us  and Babies ‘R’ Us had partnered with the charity since 2005. Annually, the retailer helped provide thousands of dollars in donations and hundreds of toys to children in Northeast Indiana.

Nationally, Toys for Tots would receive more than $5 million each year from Toys ‘R’ us.  Locally, that meant about $10,000 in cash for volunteers to purchase toys and about 400 toys from donation boxes at Toys ‘R’ Us stores annually.  

Sunny Helstrom, Director of Toys For Tots, said they plan to deliver gifts to five thousand kids this year.  The task could prove to be challenging without the help of a huge sponsor. 

“Just because Toys ‘R’ Us is closed, you still can donate to our campaign and help us purchase the toys we might need this year,” said Helstrom. “Unfortunately, newborn ages… infants to 2-year-old boys and girls we run short of every year. And ages 8 to 14.”

New, unwrapped toys will be accepted at a number of participating sites throughout Allen, Adams, Wells, DeKalb, Steuben, Huntington and Noble counties. Donations are accepted at any Kroger store locations and WANE 15 News located at 2915 West State Blvd.

Toys for Tots can also accept monetary donations to help purchase toys to match children who are registered for the program.  

The drive runs from  Nov. 1 through Friday Dec. 7.  Volunteers will start giving out toys Dec. 10.

For more information on how you can help, click here.

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