'Last Call' for Toys for Tots this Wednesday, donate new and unused toys

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- WBAY-TV is proud to again help the US Marine Corps carry on a decades-long tradition, Toys for Tots.

This Wednesday, December 11, will be ‘last call’ for people to donate new, unused toys for children and teens in our area.

“Toys for Tots is a long standing program and partnership with the Marine Corps, WBAY-TV 2 and the Salvation Army,” said Nan Pahl, director of social services at Salvation Army. “We provide toys for families who might not be able to otherwise have those gifts at Christmas time.”

There are more than 1,600 Brown County families signed up to take part in this year’s campaign, with more than 4,300 children receiving gifts.

“While families can just get by on a month-to-month basis with their regular expenses, when extra things come up like the holidays, they just need a little help and that’s why our program is here for them,” said Pahl.

With the closing of a major retailer that supported the collection and at times matched donations, organizers say they’re feeling the effects this year, but they’re hoping you can help fill the gap.

“We have done some preliminary sorting and we are in need of gifts for teenagers, both boys and girls, and tweens, ages 8-12,” said Pahl.

As for the youngsters, there are some student-made toys heading their way. For the past 8 years, advanced woodworking and advanced art students at Preble High School have teamed team up to build and design unique toys.

“We built dinosaurs and rocking chairs,” said Alex Champine, a senior at Preble High School. “It took us 2-3 weeks to build them all, sand them down and make them look good before handing them off to the art class.”

“I did a tropical theme. I painted four flamingos with a tropical background and pineapples on the back,” said Marina Solomko, a junior at Preble High School. “I just really hope they understand that there are people willing to help with everything and with a donation like this, I hope the kids are happy with them.

“I did a Flintstone themed one,” said Emanuel Sampo-Tejeda, a senior at Preble High School,”I understand what kids go through that can’t afford to get toys. I’ve been there myself when I was younger. I just hope all families who can’t afford toys have a good opportunity to get them here.”

“Those are always some of the most exciting gifts to go,” said Pahl. “It’s not only the gift for child, but the time and talent put in by those students to give back to our community.”

‘Last Call’ for Toys for Tots will be this Wednesday at WBAY on Jefferson Street in downtown Green Bay. Marines will be here to help collect the toys.

If you can't make it here by then, the Salvation Army will be collecting Toys for Tots until Sunday at its locations and at the YMCA.