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Toys for Tots giving toys to families in need during COVID-19 pandemic

Toys for Tots is working to provide toys, games and books to families in need during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Toys for Tots is known for delivering toys to kids and families in need at Christmas-time. But, the organization is trying to do something similar during the COVID-19 crisis.

During the 2019 holiday season, Toys for Tots distributed 52,000 toys to 15,000 children in Delaware through local campaigns in Dover, Millsboro, Selbyville and Wilmington.

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation president and CEO Jim Laster says when the coronavirus pandemic began the immediately saw a need.


“We can see firsthand the fear and the anxiety on childrens’ faces, especially those in less fortunate situations - because in many cases their parents have been laid off from work and so on - and times are bad," said Laster.


He notes that prompted them to expand their existing literacy program that operates year round.


“We came up with an idea that maybe we could use a similar model of our literacy program to distribute toys, books and games out to these children to lessen that anxiety and bring a smile to their face,” Laster said.


Laster says Toys for Tots is teaming up with the Alexandria, Virginia-based non-profit called Good360 - to do this.


“We had an inventory of about 2 million games, books and toys that we were holding for this next Christmas and we decided that they would better be used now," said Laster.



Laster says there currently is no estimate of the number of items to be distributed in Delaware.


Laster adds handing out items normally reserved for Christmas now should not create a shortage of items this holiday season.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.