Mid-Michigan county without active Toys for Tots program - WNEM TV 5

Mid-Michigan county without active Toys for Tots program

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

Toys for Tots collection drives are taking place almost everywhere in Mid-Michigan, except Midland County.

"There is one in Saginaw. There is one in Bay County. And there's some in other surrounding communities, but in Midland there is not one," said Kent Aloia, coordinator of Bay County's Toys for Tots.

The program helps put smiles on children's faces across Mid-Michigan Christmas morning.

"The toys that we get in the county are supposed to stay in the county, but I've had a few people call and I've referred them to other agencies in Midland," Aloia said.

Aloia wishes he could do more to help Midland County, but his hands are full.

Despite there not being a Toys for Tots program in Midland, other charities within the city have stepped forward.

"We collect toys throughout this time of year. This Christmas season we've got hundreds of families who've already signed up to receive gifts from us," said Capt. Brian Goodwill, with the Salvation Army in Midland.

Goodwill recognizes the need for more support and said the Salvation Army is willing to work with other organizations to get the job done.

"We could be open to conversations about that. I've served Salvation Armys in other locations where it's been a really strong partnership," Goodwill said.

Aloia said anyone interested in starting a Toys for Tots chapter can do it, even though the Marines originally started the program.

"There's Marine units that run Toys for Tots in those areas, but you can be a civilian. You don't have to be a Marine to run a Toys for Tots campaign," Aloia said.

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