Toys for Tots is collecting toys and monetary donations throughout the community in order to supply roughly 7,000 children in Humboldt, Trinity and Del Norte counties with Christmas gifts this season. (Courtesy of Toys for Tots)
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The season of giving is here and Toys for Tots is looking for donations.

The Marine Toys for Tots program distributed 11,068 to 5,010 local children in 2018 and is expected to serve around 7,000 children in Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity counties this year, said Gregg Gardiner, the local Toys for Tots coordinator. The program is collecting toys at 70 different locations and members of the program have been in front of Costco, Target and Wal-Mart, among other locations, to collect toys for families in need, he said.

“There are still a lot of people out there who are struggling and Christmastime is the time to remember that,” Gardiner said.

The toys that are collected at the drop-off locations throughout the community “are super important,” Gardiner said, “but those toys alone wouldn’t be nearly enough to reach the number of kids we need to deliver to.”

That makes cash donations especially important because the program can really “stretch those dollars,” by working directly with toy manufacturers and wholesalers, he said. That allows the nonprofit to distribute toys to more children.

All of that cash goes directly to buying toys for children, because there’s “no overhead cost in anything that we do,” Gardiner said.

“When you give a $1 to Toys for Tots, that $1 is going to give a child the opportunity to experience the same joy of Christmas that we had when we were growing up,” Gardiner said.

Families who are struggling financially may not be able to buy toys for their children, and if they do, those parents may be going without something else, Gardiner said. Or kids may wake up Christmas Day to no presents, he said.

“The program was set up so that all kids, or as many as we can reach, get the same joy of Christmas that we had growing up,” Gardiner said.

Children sign up for the program through their elementary and middle schools and then their parents get assigned a day and time to pick up the toys at one of the distribution sites throughout the county, Gardiner said.

Whether it’s donating to Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army or another nonprofit, Gardiner said, “When you wake up on Christmas morning, you can have a smile on your face and joy in your heart because you can know you really made a difference.”

“And that’s what Christmas is all about,” Gardiner said.

Anyone interested in donating toys can do so by dropping them off at one of the 70 collection sites throughout the community or taking them to the Toys for Tots office at 2383 Myrtle Ave. in Eureka.

Cash donations can also be dropped off at the collection sites or Toys for Tots office, as well as at https://tinyurl.com/u9byf5f to donate specifically to the Eureka Toys for Tots.

Toy drop off locations

(Last pick up Saturday, Dec. 22)

Blue Lake Casino

Arcata:

  • Arcata Fire Stations
  • Toni’s Restaurant
  • Blondies, the Beauty Shop
  • U.S. Bank
  • Coast Central Uniontown
  • Ultimate Yogurt
  • Little Learners
  • Umpqua Bank
  • Nor Cal Tattoo
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • Outdoor Store
  • Wildberries Marketplace, Arcata
  • Rocking Horse
  • Kens Auto
  • Stars Hamburgers
  • Fleetpride
  • Cutten:
  • Chalet
  • Elke’s Total Image
  • Babe’s Pizza
  • Murphy’s Market
  • Sequoia Gas

Eureka:

  • Adventures Edge
  • Mid City Motor World/Toyota
  • Bay Shore Mall
  • Pacific Outfitters
  • Calla Hana Boutique
  • Porter Street
  • Coast Central 4th & E
  • Premier Oil Change
  • Coast Central Bayshore
  • Primate Tatu
  • Coast Central Harrison
  • Redwood Capital Bank
  • Chalet
  • Renner
  • Costco Breakroom
  • Scott Hammond State Farm
  • CVS / Harris
  • Shafers Ace Hardware
  • Dave’s Place
  • SHN
  • CVS / Myrtle
  • Spotlight Video/Jacob
  • Dr. Randall Heckert
  • Starbucks/Myrtle
  • Eureka Natural Foods
  • Times-Standard, Eureka
  • Faith Center
  • Toy Box/Henderson Center
  • Forever Young Beauty Salon
  • Tri Counties Bank/Harris
  • George Peterson Ins.
  • Tri Counties Bank/Henderson
  • Go! Calendars, Bayshore Mall
  • Ultimate Yogurt
  • Harper Ford
  • Umpqua Bank/5th Street
  • Dr. Heckert, Pediatric Dental Office
  • US Bank
  • Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office
  • Village Pantry
  • Humboldt Hand and Foot
  • Walgreens/Broadway
  • Les Schwab
  • Walgreens/Harris
  • Lisa Fryrear, State Farm
  • Wells Fargo
  • Napa Auto
  • Oaxaca Grill

Fernbridge / Ferndale:

  • Fernbridge Tractor
  • Tri Counties Bank
  • Ferndale Clothing Company
  • U.S. Bank
  • Ferndale Police Department

Fortuna:

  • Fortuna Ace Hardware
  • Wells Fargo

Hoopa:

  • Coast Central Credit Union

McKinleyville:

  • Coast Central Credit Union
  • McKinleyville Office Supply
  • Heather Vina State Farm
  • Satori Wellness
  • Central Station Tavern
  • Umpqua Bank
  • Grocery Outlet
  • Kmart
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Mckinleyville Fire Station
  • Les Schwab
  • Miller Farms
  • Lube Central

Southern Humboldt:

  • Miranda Market
  • All Sport, Garberville
  • Redway Feed
  • Peg House
  • True Valley, Redway
  • Leggett Valley Mercantile
  • Ray’s, Garberville
  • Scotia Hobbs Market
  • C&C Market Rio Dell
  • Scotia Palco Pharmacy
  • Dollar General Rio Dell

Trinidad:

  • Murphy’s
  • Trinidad Bay Eatery & Gallery

Weaverville:

  • ACE Hardware
  • Merchants Mall
  • Coast Central Credit Union
  • Trinity Hospital
  • CHP Office
  • Scott Valley Bank
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Senior Center
  • Tri Counties Bank
  • Umpqua Bank

Willow Creek:

  • Ace Hardware
  • Rays
  • Coast Central Credit Union

Toy distribution areas and times

Arcata: Dec. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m, Pacific Union Elementary School, 3001 James Road

Eureka: Dec. 22, 9 a.m. -3 p.m., Redwood Acres Fairground, 3750 Harris St.

Garberville: Dec. 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m, New Hope Assembly of God Church, 354 Sprowl Creek Road

Klamath: Dec. 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m, Yurok Tribal Office 190 Klamath Blvd.

Rio Dell: Dec. 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Rio Dell Baptist Church, 100 Butcher Road

Weaverville: Dec. 19, 5-7 p.m., Veterans Memorial Building, 109 Memorial Drive

Willow Creek: Dec. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m, Veterans Memorial Building, 20 Kimtu Road

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