Toy donations in great need

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With less than two weeks until Christmas, some local toy donation programs are concerned about the lack of donations this year.

Danielle Hindson, family assistance specialist for the National Guard, said their "Toys for Tiny Soldiers" program has seen the least amount of donations it ever has.

"We had 25 boxes out in the community last year, and had all of them at least half full, and this year we only have five full boxes," Hindson said.

The program collects toys to distribute to local military families. Hindson said some may be hesitant to donate because they aren't sure what sort of toy to buy for kids. The program is most in need of toys for teens.

Hindson recommends the following gift donations for older kids:

- sports equipment (basketballs, baseballs, etc.)
- cosmetics
- hair products
- books
- games
- gift cards

If you're not interested in picking out a gift, Hindson said monetary donations are always welcomed, and organizers will use that money to purchase gifts.

"Toys for Tots" is also still collecting donations for the more than 500 families it plans to serve this year.

"I work and ends just never meet in December so having somewhere to go and something to do for my daughters is just mind blowing and amazing, and I don't know what I'd do without it," said Sierra Caldwell who took home a bag of gifts from Toys for Tots for her two-year-old twins.

You can drop off donations for "Toys for Tiny Soldiers" at the National Guard Readiness Center on Riverside Pkwy. "Toys for Tots" still has collection boxes dispersed throughout the community.

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