Fort Payne’s Toys for Tots needs some last minute items

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. - After months of sifting through applications and Christmas shopping, Toys for Tots is bagging up the last of the gifts they're preparing for distribution day.

"We have a pretty high poverty rate here in DeKalb County. We are serving right now 301 families and that's approximately 800 children," says LaRue Hardinger, coordinator for Toys For Tots.

Every year families in need are able to apply through DHR for Christmas gifts from Toys for Tots. "We fill those orders or requests as best as possible with our inventory by order in which they apply," says Hardinger.

Now that they are down to the bagging process, organizers say they need a few last-minute items. "We could use some bike helmets. That's what we're running really short on right now and I'm in the process of trying to round a lot of them up."

They're also looking for a few larger bikes for older kids and 7-inch tablets. "Unlike most, we do try to fulfill some of their wishes exactly," says Hardinger.

Toys for Tots spends about $80 per child, providing one big item and several smaller gifts and stocking stuffers.

So every donation, both in toys and money, are put to great use. "Every child deserves a little Christmas and that's our wish. That no child wakes up with nothing under their tree in this county."

The Northeast Alabama Marine Corps is asking that you contact them directly if you're looking to contribute to these last-minute items. You can click here to access their Facebook page.

You can also donate online at and make sure you select Fort Payne when making your donation.

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