Nov. 9, 2019 - Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue (SVFR) and the Rhody Cruiser Car Club started off the holiday season Thursday afternoon with a toy collection for area youth.
The collection point was the A&W Restaurant on Highway 101, and dozens of donations from generous residents helped fill a van with new, unopened toys.
The two groups were collecting for the annual Toys for Tots Distribution, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the SVFR Main Station, 2625 Highway 101.
“This is a really good cause, and we want to support it, SVFR and the kids in the community who might not have a good Christmas if it wasn’t for the toys they receive from Toys for Tots,” said Ross Kroenert, a member of the Rhody Cruisers.
The Rhody Cruisers had a number of beautifully restored automobiles at the site for viewing and encourage others to donate as the holidays draw closer. The group also participates in the Wings and Wheels Car and Aircraft show held each July at the Florence Municipal Airport, as well as other shows in and around Florence.
There was also a special guest at the collection, Santa Claus, who sounded remarkably like longtime Florence Ambassador Mike Bones.
Pete Warren, Recruiting and Retention Coordinator for SVFR, is heading up the collection for this year’s giveaway and reminds those interested in receiving toys for their children to be sure to complete the paperwork involved in the donation process.
“They need to bring some proof with them to receive toys,” Warren said. “The information to receive toys includes proof of residence in Lane County, proof that the child lives with you and proof of the child’s age.”
Warren added that the documents cannot be photocopies but rather the original documents issued.
Toys for Tots documentation needed for parents include a local photo I.D. and a piece of local mail which would prove residency in Lane County.
Warren also suggests that interested parents gather the necessary paperwork prior to the distribution date to avoid any problems the day of the giveaway.
The National Toys for Tots Collection Drive is the result of an effort that began in 1947 by members of the military, primarily the U.S. Marines. The program is now overseen by the Marine Corps Reserve and donates millions of toys each year to youngsters around the country.
A couple of other tips were provided by Warren for parents who plan to receive toys at the giveaway in December: “We get you in and served as quickly as possible, but please plan to be outside for as much as an hour or so, especially at the beginning of the giveaway. And we strongly suggest you do not bring children with you.”
There is still time to contribute toys for this year’s distribution with drop off locations at Hoberg’s Auto, Holloway and Associates, SVFR and the Siuslaw News.
For more information on the Toys for Tots Giveaway, visit www.toysfortots.org/request_toys.