You’ve seen the Toys For Tots donation boxes around town, often filled to the brim with action figures, dolls, Legos and board games. Perhaps you’ve even donated to the program before. But have you ever wondered how those toys end up in the hands of a needy family?
Well, after the United States Marine Corps Reserve (the program’s organizer) rounds up all the donations, they rely on local organizations to sort and distribute the toys.
In Will County, most of the toys end up at the Greater Joliet Area YMCA. As the largest distribution organization in the area, the Y sorts through several thousand toys each holiday season.
During a daylong volunteer event, YMCA staff and members come together as Santa’s Helpers to carefully select gifts for the families who qualify.
This year, the Y organized and distributed enough toys for 800 area children to experience the joy of opening gifts on Christmas morning.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Greater Joliet Area YMCA, please call (815) SAY-YMCA. For more information about Toys For Tots in our area, visit www.joliet-il.toysfortots.org.