ATLANTA - Every year, Santa gets a big boost in the metro Atlanta area thanks to Toys For Tots. The Atlanta chapter is the largest campaign in the nationwide organization.
"It is. It's large. It encompassed the whole greater Atlanta area that we're helping out," said Col. Michael Varicak, U.S. Marine Corps Commanding Officer. "Our goal is to try to fill every request we receive."
The U.S. Marine Corp heads the donation drive which has worked to bring toys to families in need for nearly 71 years.
Every year, they are tasked with collecting, inventorying, listing recipients, and distributing more than 900,000 toys in only 25 operating days to nearly a half a million children.
The 2019 campaign kicked off Tuesday at the State Capitol. FOX 5 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist David Chandley was at Tuesday’s kickoff. He spoke with Col. Varick about what he would say to someone who has never donated before but was interested.
"I'd tell them if they like to be a part of an organization that helps children that might be going through a less fortunate circumstance, so they can share the join of Christmas with that family," Col. Varick.
FOX 5 Helping Hands is once again teaming up with Publix, the Marine Corps Reserve, United Way, PepsiCo, and Q100 to help Toys For Tots in their efforts to collect new, unwrapped toys. Each Publix in metro Atlanta will have a drop box inside their store where donations can be made.
And the FOX 5 Atlanta team will be out at the Highland Plaza Publix located at the corner of Sandy Plains Road and Shallowford Road in Marietta on Saturday, Dec. 7 starting at 10 a.m. for the Great Toy Drop. Folks can come by, donate, meet the team, take some selfies, all for a good cause.
The Toys For Tots organization is made up completely of volunteers. Anyone who would like to give their time sorting toys or would like to volunteer their business as a drop site can find out more by clicking here.
For information on how to be placed on Toys For Tots’ list to be distributed to, call 211 or click here.
To learn more about the Toys For Tots Atlanta campaign click here.