ELBURN—The Toys for Tots donation box at Wireless Zone is nearly empty—a single baseball glove has been donated thus far—but store manager Jeremy Schorr is hoping that as word gets out, the people of Elburn will help fill it up.
WirelessZone stores nationwide are drop-off sites for Toys for Tots donations, but it’s the first year that the Elburn store, located at 920 N. Main St., has participated. The store, which opened last November, is a drop-off site for the Kane County branch of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
The toys will go to needy children in Kane County who might not otherwise receive a Christmas gift. Donations can be dropped off at WirelessZone between now and Sunday, Dec. 22.
“We’re looking to get word out in our community; that way, we can help local families in need so that they have a good Christmas,” Schorr said. “We’re a company that believes in giving back to the community, so one way we can help out is by giving people who are a little more fortunate a chance to help those who are less fortunate.”
Despite the charity’s name, Toys for Tots distributes toys and gifts to disadvantaged children of all ages. It accepts new toys, books, games, sporting equipment, beauty and fashion items, backpacks, electronics, and other gifts—anything a child, pre-teen or teenager might like to receive—and distributes them to area families in need just before Christmas.
“We have a box just inside of the door to the right, and the only thing the Marine Corps asks is that (the gift is) new and unwrapped,” Schorr said. “It can be toys or gifts for any age, any kid that we can help out. That’s our goal. We don’t focus on a certain group, because kids of all ages need help.”
Since Toys for Tots needs to sort and distribute the items to appropriate recipients, gifts should not be gift-wrapped. Stuffed animals, realistic-looking weapons and food items are not accepted.
Toys and gifts can be dropped off at the WirelessZone Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monetary donations are also used to purchase gifts for children in need. Checks can be mailed directly to the local branch at Toys for Tots, c/o CWO3 Patrick Kackert, 129 Flinn St., Batavia, IL 60510.