Toys for Tots: Central Texas woman’s efforts to collect donations of dolls of color having its best year ever

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:17 PM CST
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WOODWAY, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas woman’s effort to get dolls of color donated to the annual Toys for Tots toy drive 12 years ago has picked up steam and is having it’s best year yet complete with a party in which dozens of dolls were donated.

Megan Snipes, a Marketing and Public Relations Specialist at Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest, came up with the idea while a producer at KWTX from 2006-2011.  She would walk through the studio where donated toys were displayed and noticed there weren’t a lot of dolls that represented minorities communities.

The first year, Megan brought in a couple of dolls and named the effort “Operation Integration.”

“Operation Integration started about 12 years ago when I noticed that there weren’t a lot of dolls that were minorities in the groups that people were donating for Toys for Tots,” she said.

“So, I thought, ‘hey we need to make sure that all the kids that are receiving the gifts are going to be represented.’”

Every year, as friends heard about Megan’s idea, others joined in, and this year, a party was held to accept the donations.

Local attorney Craig Cherry and his wife, Brandy, along with Matt and Terri Rohrer, hosted the party in Woodway Sunday evening and even offered a $100 gift card for anyone who brought a toy that helped the cause.

“We are here because we know there are kids that are underrepresented in the community with regards to the Toys for Tots campaign, but thanks to the fantastic work and initiative that was started by Megan Snipes 11 years ago, we wanted to do what we could here this evening to try and fill that gap that’s there for those underrepresented children,” Craig said.

Snipes said thanks to the outpouring of support she thinks they’ll be able to donate close to 100 dolls or toys that represent kids from underrepresented groups within the community.

“So that now includes kids of color, kids with disabilities, kids of all sorts should be able to see themselves in the dolls and the toys they are receiving so that they know that they have value and so that they know that they are worthwhile, and they can be anything that they want to be,” Snipes said.

Toys for Tots wraps up on Friday.

You can drop off a new, unwrapped toy to KWTX Studio in Waco at 6700 American Plaza during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.