Toys for Tots 2021 Sneak Peek – NBC 7 San Diego

NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 are teaming up with the US Marine Corps and The UPS Store to collect toys for children in need this holiday, as part of Toys for Tots. You may have seen the large white and red cardboard bins at drop-off points before, but how does it work?

NBC 7’s Dana Williams went through the process step by step, from purchasing the toy to viewing its sorting.

This is how it works:
1. First, choose the type of toy you want to donate first. It must be new and unboxed, so no need to tie a ribbon on it! According to the Marine Toys for Tots website, there is a greater need for donations when thinking of tweens and teens. Some suggestions for this group include sporting goods, board games, and rc cars. Find more here.

2. Then it’s time to find a drop-off location for your toy. The San Diego County UPS store carries dozens of participating locations, from Vista to Otay Mesa, where you can donate. You enter, find the red and white cardboard bin, then place your toy inside. Just like that, your game is over.

3. From there, the process is a bit more behind the scenes. Santa’s helpers, a mix of Marines and volunteers, sort through each item and determine which group of kids would enjoy that specific toy the most. All donated items are kept in large warehouses with stuffed animals, bicycles and board games filling bin after bin. According to Miramar’s Toys for Tots coordinator, Sgt. Phillip Santoro, they’ve seen more donations than usual this year, especially after the program was slowed down due to COVID-19 in 2020.

4. Once the toys are sorted into specific piles, they are distributed to community organizations in the area who donate the items to families in need. More than 604 million toys have found a home this way, according to the Marine Toys for Tots website.

Toys are usually collected from mid-November to mid-December, so there is still time to make a difference this holiday season. NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 are hosting a drive-through event on Friday, December 3 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Walmart on Murphy Canyon Road. Just bring a toy, drive, drop it off and you’re good to go.

If you want to know how to get involved otherwise, click on here for more details on how to help.

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