Toys for Tots 2019 Polk Campaign Gets Underway
Needy Families, Nonprofits Can Apply for Toys Online
Last updated 10/16/2019 at 6:08pm
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program of Polk County 2019 campaign is underway, and individual families or nonprofit groups serving over 25 families can apply for toys online through Nov. 15.
In 2018, due to the generosity of Polk County residents, businesses, and volunteers, the Toys for Tots program provided more than 46,000 new toys to over 12,362 needy children in Polk County.
Utilizing the website http://polkcounty-fl.toysfortots.org, residents can request a toy, sign up to volunteer, host a Toys for Tots event, and businesses can request a drop box for toy donations. The website allows the information to be viewed in any language.
The registration period for toys runs from Oct. 1 to Nov. 15. There are two registration options: one if for a single-family request, while the second option is for non-profits with over 25 families. Non-profits must supply a Federal Tax Identification number. Applicants will receive up-to-date emails with information on their application and information on distribution sites.
The distribution of the toys will be held at locations throughout Polk County on Dec. 14. Families will be required to bring documentation to the distribution sites to show they qualify for the toys. The current qualifications are:
• Parent / Guardian and child must be a CURRENT Polk County Resident.
• Child(ren) must be between 0 to 13 years of age.
• Parent / Guardian must be able to prove they are currently receiving Medicaid, food assistance (SNAP or WIC), or cash assistance (TANF). If the parent / guardian has recently become unemployed, proof must be provided.
Note: Children participating in any other local community, faith-based organization, church, or school program receiving toys should not request toys through the Toys for Tots Program. We endeavor to make sure all children with needs in the community receive toys for Christmas.
"We are excited about the 2019 campaign," said Polk Campaign Coordinator David Waller. He noted the organization is looking for volunteers throughout the county to assist with work in the Auburndale warehouse. Also volunteers are needed to deliver the toy drop boxes to the businesses and then manage the pickup of toys and delivery to the warehouse.
Again this year the group will host the Polk County High School Toys for Tots Toy Drive. All high schools in Polk County are issued a "challenge" to see which school can raise the most toys and books for Toys for Tots. Toys for Tots will provide the collection boxes, and high school students, clubs, teams, and organizations bring the new, unwrapped gifts to donate.
"We want to help your schools promote camaraderie, student leadership, and community involvement, as well as a bit of healthy competition among Polk Schools," said Polk Toys for Tots Coordinator David Waller.
This is the third year for the challenge. In 2018, Mulberry High School was the winner, for the second year in a row, collecting over 900 toys for the competition. Mulberry High School received a large trophy for winning the challenge and plans to proudly defend the title in 2019.
Updates on the campaign can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PolkCountyToysForTots. Citizens are asked to take a few minutes to "like" and follow the campaign with Facebook.
The Toys for Tots program for Polk County provides new unwrapped toys for needy children at Christmas.
"By providing a brand-new gift, something many children take for granted, each of us can help less fortunate children believe that someone cares and that the magic of the holiday season hasn't passed them by," Waller said.
For any questions regarding the Toys for Tots Program of Polk County, please contact Waller by calling 863-292-8687 or emailing [email protected].