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Toys for Kids collecting gifts

Observer file photo Bring new toy donations to any Toys for Kids Vermont drop off barrel.
Observer file photo
Bring new toy donations to any Toys for Kids Vermont drop off barrel.

Observer staff report

Local shoppers checking people off their Christmas lists might consider picking up an extra gift for a local child in need.

Dozens of red collection barrels for Toys for Kids of Vermont are stationed around Williston and Chittenden County. A volunteer program sponsored by the Vermont Marine Corps League, Toys for Kids of Vermont collects new, unwrapped toys during the Christmas season and oversees their distribution to needy children in Vermont.

Toys for Kids also collects monetary donations at coin drops. All money collected stays in Vermont and is used to purchase age appropriate toys to supplement donations, and for gift cards for older children. Williston coin drop sites are located at Town Cobbler, Amarah’s Chocolates, UPS Store #3034, Plato’s Closet and Shelburne Meat Market, Williston.

The program is intended to make sure no Vermont child wakes up on Christmas morning without a gift. See the sidebar for a list of donation sites.

“Every toy and every barrel helps,” said John Welsh, who has run the program for 53 years. “It gets busier every year. All the folks that aren’t eating aren’t getting Christmas gifts either.”

For more information and a full list of barrel drop off spots, visit toysforkidsvt.com.