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Toys for tots provides Christmas day smiles

Needy children will have a merry Christmas this and every year that the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots is here to help.

About 800 children will see presents under their tree this year, thanks to the kindness of Pearl River County residents and the efforts of Toys for Tots.

To help with the effort, Picayune radio station WRJW raised $11,486 for the effort, said Picayune Police Community Relations Coordinator Lt. Theresa Milar.

“It’s fun, we love doing it and you see a lot of families that really appreciate it,” Milar said.

Milar said the toys collected for Toys for Tots will go to children from ages birth to 12 years. Toys will continue to be accepted until Monday, Dec. 18 at various locations, including the Picayune Criminal Justice Center, WRJW, Wal-Mart, Dollar General, Walker’s Body Shop and anywhere else a Toys for Tots sign is displayed.

The application process for needy families began Nov. 27 and ended Saturday. When parents applied, they were required to bring identification for themselves and a social security card for each of their children, said Jackie Rabion, local coordinator for Toys for Tots at the World Outreach Revival Center.

Once all the information has been collected, the parent is given an appointment time for an interview to determine eligibility. Then a program is held at the World Outreach Revival Center over two days, Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 this year, Rabion said. At the end of the program, the parents are given a stamped voucher and a time either Tuesday, Dec. 19 or Wednesday, Dec. 20 to go to the Picayune National Guard Armory with the voucher and shop for their children’s toys, she said.

Monetary donations for Toys for Tots can be sent to P.O. Box 1023, Picayune MS, 39466.