Last year, Toys for Tots provided nearly 700 Whitley County children with a toy for Christmas.
That number will likely increase this year, said Pat Mossburg, director of the Salvation Army which provides registration service for the program.
â€śThere is definitely still a need in this community,â€ť Mossburg said.
Collecting toys and making sure they are received by children who would otherwise not get a toy for Christmas is a big task and one that gets its start in early November, long before anyone is really thinking too much about Christmas.
The process starts with applications.
The Salvation Army will begin taking applications for Toys For Tots of Whitley County assistance at Eagle Quest Church, 1120 N. state Road 109, Columbia City (same location as last year) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning Nov. 4 through Nov. 23. Application hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To register, parents must have a photo ID, proof of Whitley County residence â€” which must be a current utility bill or something received monthly â€” and evidence of income.
Parents who apply for Toys for Tots will automatically qualify to receive a box of food that will feed a family of four for a week.
The donation part of Toys for Tots will get its start in late November.
In addition to donation boxes placed around the county, Roxie Hagans, assistant coordinator for Toys for Tots, said that there will be a Toys for Tots night at the Wonderland of Lights and that train donations will be accepted at various businesses.
For more information on the application process, contact Marsha Ruesch at 327-3762.