Broome County’s Toys for Tots program, which has been running since 1962 due to rain, snow, sleet, economic boom and even a global pandemic, is returning to Santa’s Helper for 2021.
Broome County Toys for Tots Coordinator Binghamton Police Officer Chris Marshall participates in the weekly local public affairs program, Close-up on the south row to describe the schedule and procedures for this year’s program.
Constable Marshall has been collecting toys and putting them away at Binghamton Town Hall over the past few months in preparation for the big collection, registration and, finally, toy distribution to hundreds of children of Broome County.
When he signed up to oversee the local Toys for Tots about three years ago, the Binghamton cop, of course, had no way of knowing what challenges the 59-year-old program would face in the form of COVID-19. The program quickly adapted to constantly changing information and protocols and still applied to the hundreds of children in Broome County who might otherwise be left without toys for the holidays.
One challenge the local program continues to face is making sure people are aware that there is a difference between Broome County Toys for Tots which gives gifts only to LOCAL children and another program that operates across the states. -United.
Those wishing to donate new, unwrapped toys for the children of Broome County should seek donation barrels from local police departments and the Broome County Sheriff’s Office. Other barrels for the local program are placed in other businesses and bear the Broome County Toys for Tots logo with a carousel horse depicted in the center.
Police are also holding their Fill the Cruiser Collection to fill as many squad cars as possible with toys on December 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Vestal Walmart.
Broome County Toys for Tots head office is located at Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, in the former Payless Shoes store at the end of the mall where Macy’s was located and will be receiving cash and toy donations from November 29 to December 20 .
You can hear more details about registration and donation at Close-up on the south row and on the Broome County Toys for Tots Facebook page.
Close-up on the south row is heard Saturdays at 6:03 am on News Radio 1290 WNBF and on the WNBF podcast.