Toys for Tots toy distribution began Wednesday. (Photo By Paul Morello/WJBC)
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - This year's Marine Corps Toys for Tots toy drive surpassed its goal by 2,000 toys.
The annual drive raised 21,610 toys, with the goal set at 20,000 toys.
Organizer Matt Drat said Wednesday a late surge helped the drive reach its goal.
"It really has just been within the last couple of weeks that the community has stepped up and made that huge difference. We also had some big toy buys that we did," he said.
A donation of $12,000 by the local UAW also helped the drive, according to Drat.
Toy distribution began Wednesday and will continue Thursday at the Salvation Army headquarters on West Washington St. Parents will be able to pick two toys per child, plus stocking stuffers and a board game.
"The parent of the kids gets to pick the toys," Drat said. "We learned long ago that we wanted the parents to have some kind of investment in what their kids get."
Families that received the Salvation Army's Christmas baskets were automatically signed up for the Toys for Tots program. Other local social services agencies, including the Baby Fold, refer families to Toys for Tots.
Paul Morello can be reached at email@example.com.