JACKSON, Miss.- There’s going to be a lot of kids in Mississippi that won’t receive gifts from Toys for Tots this Christmas after the organization says they have to make some major cutbacks.
Toys for Tots served 17 counties and more than 3,000 kids last year, but this year they can only serve three counties; Hinds, Madison and Rankin.
“We tried our best to serve 17 counties last year and we did it, and we did it well, but it put a hurting on us.” Coordinator for Toys for Tots, Bill Henderson said, “We had more counties than we did people working.”
Henderson says they really need volunteers and coordinators more than anything else across all areas of the state.
“We’re doing our best to help the neediest children.” Henderson says their main criteria this year to register kids is that the parents have a SNAP card.
“This means the Mississippi Department of Human Services has investigated and there is a definite need.” Henderson said, “We also use the poverty level; the size of the family and the amount of income they make. We want to get to the people that need it, not the people that just want it because it’s free. Every time a family registers at multiple locations, that’s knocking some other child out of getting gifts.”
You can donate, register to volunteer or become a coordinator for a county at http://www.toysfortots.org/default.aspx