The annual Toys for Tots toy drive, conducted by the Maj. Megan McClung Marine Corps League Detachment 1210, is well under way, and organizers say the need is greater than ever.
Volunteers spent all day Saturday and Sunday at the Clinton ferry dock collecting money to purchase toys for kids on Christmas morning. It was the only fundraiser of the year on South Whidbey, joining the Navy Band concert earlier this month on North Whidbey.
Mike McClung, who organizes the toy drive each year along with his wife, Re, said last year Toys for Tots supported more than 1,600 children. This year they expect that number to be more than 1,800.
“Every gift is up anywhere from $2 to $5,” he said. “So we’re trying to find the best way we can to purchase them.”
Toys for Tots on Whidbey Island partners with several island agencies — the Department of Children’s Services, Fostering Together, Tree of Hope, and Holiday House Central and South. The agencies share children’s holiday “wish lists” and McClung tries to target his shopping list to those requested items, ensuring that every child in need on Whidbey Island has at least one gift Christmas morning. Every toy and every dollar donated on Whidbey Island stays here.
Popular items this year include sports equipment such as baseball bats and balls, games, soft-faced dolls without buttons, tea sets and Lego kits.
Those who want to send a donation can make checks payable to: Toys for Tots — Whidbey, MCL Detachment 1210, P.O. Box 977, Oak Harbor, WA, 98277.