By Olivia Handley
Dec. 11, 2014. Each October, Toys for Tots begins to collect toys in a nationwide effort to bring Christmas cheer to millions of children living in poverty.
Toys for Tots was founded in 1947, with the goal of providing a message of hope to underprivileged children and assisting them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens. The Boone chapter was founded in 2009 by Kris and Becky Fowler of Eagle Rock Ministries, another local organization dedicated to providing children with toys and other essentials such as winter clothing.
“All the money we raise stays in Watauga, Ashe and Avery Counties to help children in the High Country,” said Kris Fowler, the local community coordinator.
“Last year we helped 1,102 children have a marry Christmas, and we should be close if not over that number for this year.”
The Boone Chapter of Toys for Tots relies 100 percent on volunteer help, allowing 97 percent of the organization’s funds to go directly to the children. In Boone, volunteers can help work the collection table at the Boone Mall, buy and wrap presents or organize the collected toys for transport and drop off. Local volunteers help meet every step of the toy’s journey into the arms of a deserving child. Volunteer forms can be found online at the Boone Toys for Tots website at Boone-NC.toysfortots.org.
If volunteering isn’t an option for you, monetary contributions are always appreciated and can be made online or at the Toys for Tots table in the Boone Mall.
Toy drop off boxes are located around the HIgh Country including the following locations: The Boone Mall, Dollar General at New Market, Vilas and Deep Gap, Walgreens, Boone Drug at Deerfield and Greenway, CVS, Modern Toyota and Subaru, High Country Honda, Enterprise on N.C. 105 and Watauga High School. All toys must be new and unwrapped.
Toys for Tots strives to help every child in need, so get into the Christmas spirit and help to bring joy to hundreds of children across the High Country.
Check out photos below from last year.
Photos by Madison Fisler Lewis