Annual Toys for Tots drive a huge success in Central Texas

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 5:41 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - KWTX’s annual Toys for Tots toy drive with the U.S. Marine Corps and The Salvation Army turned out to be another huge success in 2021.

Preliminary numbers reveal more than 4,000 toys were collected between Bell and McLennan Counties, as well as outlying communities, during the drive, which KWTX promoted starting the day after Thanksgiving and wrapped up with an all-day drive-thru on December 10.

“On behalf of The Salvation Army and the Marines’ Toys For Tots program, we want to say thank you to all of you who supported you the program through this last Christmas season,” said Major April Taylor, with the Salvation Army in Waco.

Taylor said the giving, if put into dollars, was estimated to be around $63,000, which meant hundreds of area families were given multiple gifts for children in their infancy all the way to the age of 12.

Registration started in October and hundreds of families lined up for the helping hand to wrap up 2021.

“In that time, we were able to do over 4,000 toys for those individuals in the needy community to help them have a Merry Christmas,” Taylor added " So, thumbs up. Congratulations, Waco. You step up every time and we are so grateful. Thank you so much for a wonderful season.”

Toys for Tots is a US Marine Corps project which News 10 has been actively involved with since 1991. KWTX Meteorologist, Rusty Garrett, has served as chairman of the annual drive from the beginning and passionately strives to encourage donations each Christmas season. His goal is to make sure every deserving family has gifts for their children.

“Toys for Tots brings out amazing generosity and the outpouring this year was so heart-warming,” Garrett said. “Both individual and corporate donations ensured a wonderful Christmas for children and families throughout our area.”

Since the late 1940s, this amazing Marine Corps program has assisted families nationwide who are struggling financially.

The toys were distributed to Central Texas families the week before Christmas.

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