While some parents already have their children's Christmas gifts bought and paid for, other parents know their children will likely have to go without this year.
And that’s where the Marines step in with their annual Toys for Tots program.
“Kids don’t understand the economy or why daddy’s not going to work,” said Frank Gordon, a former Marine who started volunteering for Fox Valley Toys for Tots six years ago. “(Despite the economy) we’ve got to at least have Christmas for kids.”
Montgomery residents can help further the program by dropping off new, unwrapped items at several places in the village, including Village Hall, the Montgomery Police Department, and the Fox Valley Park District Police Station, 1460 SE River Road. Toys are being collected through Monday, Dec. 17.
Farm & Fleet of Montgomery has already donated several large bags of toys for this season’s program.
“They have been a big donor every year. They bring a lot of toys,” said Debbie Buchanan, executive assistant to the village administrator.
Gordon lauds the residents of Montgomery who he describes as “very giving people.”
“I go over to City Hall and the Police Department sometimes a couple of times a day to make pickups,” he said. “With this economy, you don’t really know what to expect. But in Montgomery it’s been excellent.”
Gordon said currently there are about 450 children in the Fox Valley area that toys are needed for. He also expects that number to grow.
The Marine Corps is especially seeking toy donations that kids ages 12 through 14 would enjoy, such as footballs, soccer balls, skateboards, and remote control cars.
“Our biggest goal is to make sure no child goes without a toy for Christmas,” Gordon said. “If we don’t encourage our kids now and give them a reason to get up in the morning, we’re going to put them in jail when they’re older.”