The Toys for Tots organization and residents of Nacogdoches work together every year to ensure that over 200 children in Nacogdoches and surrounding areas get the Christmas they deserve.
Nacogdoches County Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinator Chris Borel has worked for the organization for three years.
“Nacogdoches works very hard when it comes to Toys for Tots,” Borel said. “We try to give children a really good Christmas by giving them sometimes up to nine presents if the supply allows for it. That is a lot more than what other cities provide to children in need.”
Borel said Toys for Tots creates a safe place for parents who can’t afford to buy their children presents; they can sign up online and get free toys for their children without being embarrassed to ask for help or being fearful of what others may think. Then, they can discreetly pick up their toys by appointment when they are ready.
“One thing we take pride in is being able to make the parents look like heroes,” Borel said. “Included in each group of toys that the parents pick up is wrapping paper, tape and bows, so that the parents can wrap the presents by themselves, and so the children have no clue that the parents got the toys from us. Our goal is simply being able to give children toys, not having the glory of people knowing that we gave out the toys.”
University Police Department Corporal Robert McDonald said his love for the organization came from when he used to go Black Friday shopping with his mother, specifically for the Toys for Tots organization.
“My mom had always said that no matter what every kid deserves a smile on Christmas,” McDonald said. “That’s why I support Toys for Tots: because I believe in what my mom believed.”
When his mom passed away, McDonald said he knew he wanted to continue her support for the organization, and that’s why he encouraged the UPD to become a Toys for Tots drop site.
Stacy Dicks, McWilliams & Son Heating and Air Conditioning employee, said the company is also a drop site for the organization.
“Toys for Tots gives people in need the opportunities and resources they need to have a good Christmas,” Dicks said. “We love supporting the community and Toys for Tots helps us do that. It truly is a privilege to be able to be a drop site for people to donate.”
McWilliams and Son Heating and Air Conditioning also donates $50 to Toys for Tots for every new system they sell. Dicks said doing this is another way their business to give back.
“I encourage people to donate to this organization because donating helps offer people in need support during arguably one of the hardest parts of the year.” Dicks said.
People can donate online or at the several drop off sites in Nacogdoches.