Local businesses and organizations are banding together to make the holiday season a little brighter for thousands of children in Santa Barbara County with the annual Toys for Tots gift-giving campaign.
Since 1947, Toys for Tots, which is run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes them to children whose parents are unable to afford Christmas gifts.
Last year in Santa Barbara County, 6,790 toys were distributed among 4,604 children, according to the county's program tally.
Local Marine Corps League 1340, which heads up the Central Coast's annual Christmastime campaign, has so far delivered toy donation boxes to participating fire stations and CoastHills Credit unions, and is seeking additional campaign participants, said Soledad Kennedy, Santa Barbara County's Toys for Tots coordinator.
In preparation for the official 2021 Toys for Tots national kick-off day on Nov. 1, volunteers will deliver toy donation boxes to those in Santa Barbara County who have registered to be an official toy donation site. Those interested in becoming an approved toy drop-off site should contact Kennedy via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-588-0650.