With just a short time left until Christmas, Toys for Tots programs across the country are collecting donations and preparing to distribute gifts to thousands of families. Running entirely on volunteer support, the local organizations work tirelessly each year to bring the spirit of the holidays to families in need each year. We chatted with Krista Brezina, coordinator of the Toys for Tots campaign in Calvert County, for this week’s Friday Focus.
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
A: Toys for Tots of Calvert County serves local families in need of assistance in supplementing their childrens’ gifts at Christmas. Donations of new, unwrapped toys are collected at over 80 locations across Calvert County, including schools, businesses, fire departments and offices between November 1 and Dec 13. The toys are then collected, sorted, counted and distributed to families who have registered online to participate in the program.
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
A: My favorite moments come every year when I see the smile on parents’ faces as they pick out toys they know their children will love playing with.
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: The biggest challenge of running Toys for Tots is the actual timing of the campaign, which occurs during a very busy time for most people. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, everyone’s schedule fills up with work, school, family and social commitments and it’s hard to find volunteers who have time to help us.
Q: How can people get involved this holiday season?
A: Toys for Tots of Calvert County will provide toys, books and stocking stuffers to approximately 1,000 Calvert County children in 2013. Although this year’s campaign is winding down, we are already making plans for 2014. We anticipate next year’s campaign to be even bigger as we seek new referral sources, such as the Calvert County Public School system. As Toys for Tots of Calvert County grows, we will have even more opportunities for community members to help collect, sort, count and distribute toys as well as assist us with special events. For more information about Toys for Tots of Calvert County, please visit our website, www.CalvertToysforTots.com as well as our Facebook page.
We’d like to say a special word of thanks to all those who donated to our annual food and toy drive. Your generosity will truly help brighten the holiday season for so many people!