There are a lot of charities struggling to help local people this Christmas season. The ones that provide toys are especially struggling.
U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots continues to put out the call for donations.
"We desperately need help helping the children," said Kenneth B. Crowell, Toys for Tots coordinator. Crowell is a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel.
All donations stay here in Bedford County, Crowell said. In fact, he frequently brings toys here from the Marine Reserve facility in Nashville to help meet the local need.
DURING THE PARADE IN SHELBYVILLE SATURDAY, THE U.S. MARINE CORPS LEAGUE WILL ACCEPT MONEY OR TOY DONATIONS.
Dropoff points with boxes are Doak-Howell Funeral Home, Shelbyville Fire Department, Corner Cleaners, Shelbyville Power System, Century Mold, Cooper Steel, First Community Bank, Walgreens, Big G, Arby's, all in Shelbyville, and 82 Market in Bell Buckle.
Only new, unwrapped toys are accepted.
However, money is even better than toy donations, Crowell said. As a tax-exempt non-profit charity, Toys for Tots can turn every donated $1 bill into nearly $1.50 because it does not pay taxes on purchased toys, he said. Also, the stores will often give the charity a discount.
Donations may be mailed to USMC/Toys for Tots, P.O. Box 2187, Shelbyville, TN 37162.
City Outreach Ministries also is trying to help provide toys to children. They have their list already -- 800 children -- and are still in the red. Pastor Scott Horn said the bags of toys he has assembled so far are the "skimpiest" he has ever done. To donate, call 684-9984.