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Donations being accepted, registration set to take place soon

This year the demand for a little extra help during the holidays is expected to increase dramatically, so organizers with Toys for Tots in Pearl River County are starting the collection process of gathering new and unwrapped toys and hoping for an increase in donations.

Locations where donations can be dropped off to Toys for Tots are easy to find, just look for the iconic collection box at a local business or city building in Picayune and Poplarville. Some locations include City Hall, the Picayune Police Department and Picayune Early Head Start.

Toys for Tots Coordinator Theresa Milar said she and the other volunteers expect to see an increased demand for toys due to the impacts of the ongoing pandemic. Assistant Coordinator Amy House said she expects to see the demand double this year.

Families in this county with a child younger than 12 who need help in providing a bright and cheery Christmas can register with Toys for Tots during the following dates and times at the World Outreach Church in Picayune, located at 900 Cayten St.

From Nov. 16 to 20 registration can be completed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Nov. 21, registration can be conducted from 9 a.m. until noon.

From Nov. 30 until Dec. 4, registration will be open again from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Dec. 5 it will be available for the last time this year from 9 a.m. until noon. Attempts to register after Dec. 5 will not be accepted.

In order to register during one of the above dates, the parent or guardian will need to bring the birth certificate of the child, a picture ID that shows proof of residence in Pearl River County and guardianship papers if the person registering the child is not a parent.

Milar said that any qualifying family who registers their child will receive five toys for each child. She said the local organization chooses to give each child at least five toys because one toy doesn’t do much to brighten a child’s holiday, especially those children in families who need the help.

Donations should be toys for children up to age 12, and need to be new and unwrapped.

Last year, the organization was able to help 948 children in this area.

While the project aims to help children of every age up to 12-years-old, Milar said that for some reason the biggest demand is for toys for children aged 7 to 12.

Distribution day will be announced to those who register and qualify, and all precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be taken, including limiting the number of families collecting toys that day. Families will be required to wear masks while picking up toys.

For more information, call 601-590-0990 or 601-273-1602.