Toys for Tots Launches Again

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Applications for families who want to participate in the Toys for Tots program will be available after Thanksgiving.

This is the eighth consecutive year Renee Duke will coordinate the local effort for Toys for Tots. The St. Maries City Police Department sponsors the local effort in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corp. Reserve.

Celia Sibert and Renee Duke help with the Toys for Tots program in Benewah County. Donation bins to collect new toys will be in several business following Thanksgiving.

Celia Sibert and Renee Duke help with the Toys for Tots program in Benewah County. Donation bins to collect new toys will be in several business following Thanksgiving.

Applications may be picked up at the St. Maries City Police Department, St. Maries City Hall or the Department of Motor Vehicle Office. Applications will need to be returned by Dec. 15.

Applicants must apply in person and only the custodial parent or legal guardian may apply. Proof of each child is needed, such as a birth certificate, Social Security card or guardianship papers. For proof of Benewah County residency, a driver’s license or utility bill can be shown.

“The program is open to low income families on public assistance and is open for children 12 years and younger,” Ms. Duke said.

Applicants will need to show proof of participation in any of the following as well: Medicaid, WIC, TAFI, food stamps, Social Security disability, supplemental security income or military active duty.

Last year, Toys for Tots provided gifts to 141 children locally, or 61 families. Ms. Duke said since she started helping with the program the city, and county, has given a wonderful Christmas morning to 1,100 children.

“I’m asking everyone who can help to pitch in with donations to once again bring joy to the children less fortunate in our community,” she said. “The program’s success is also due to the merchants in our small town that have the Toys for Tots containers for collection.”

Toys must be new and should not be wrapped. The program cannot accept used stuffed animals or toys.

Businesses that will have a collection bin are Hughes Ace Hardware, Banner Bank, St. Maries City Hall, Country Fair, Jack’s Pharmacy, Suntan Etc., Grapple Haus, The Paperhouse and Tri Peaks.

Ms. Duke also gave special thanks to the volunteers who help make the program a success. This year’s volunteers include Chief Margaret Lehmbecker, Lt. Robert Loe, Sgt. Doug Yearout, Officer Colton Wynn and Officer Jacob Donnerberg with the St. Maries Police Department.

“I also receive help from Petey Slegel, Sandi Auer, Kriss Gibson, Celia Sibert, Staci Schiermeister, Boy Scout Troop 442 and leader Tom Jarvi and Brenda Buell,” she said.

For more information about the program call 245-2577, 245-5102 or 245-2555. Information is available online at toyfortots.org.

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