Toys for Tots in need of help

Nearly a thousand children could go without toys they would otherwise have this Christmas unless businesses step up. Over 2,000 children are registered with Toys for Tots, a program of the Marine Corps Reserve, in the tri-county area, but only about half that number, according to Greg Sims, coordinator for the program.

Sims is looking for businesses and organizations to host donation boxes in Knox County. Currently, the only location in Barbourville is Hometown Bank. “All donations stay local,” assured Sims.

Ninety-seven percent of all donations stay in the Toys for Tots programs, and all donations stay local, whether it is money or toys. Salaries are only paid to foundation employees, made possible through corporate donations.

The Marine Corps Reserve unit in Lexington operations the Toys for Tots campaign in this area, covering 17 counties. Sims’ help in the tri-county area comes from Mountain Outreach, a ministry of the University of the Cumberlands, and Freedom Fellowship, a ministry from London, Ky.

Mountain Outreach and Freedom Fellowship help Sims in distribution of the toys as well as vetting applicants. Anyone wishing to apply for a family to be considered for the program should visit and click “Find Your Local Toys For Tots Program.”

People and businesses wishing to volunteer or become a dropsite can visit the website, or call Sims at 606-549-4083.