Bamberg, Allendale, Barnwell Counties not covered by Toys for Tots; organizations stepping up to plate

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BAMBERG COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — Changes coming to Bamberg County’s Toys for Tots Program
Officials say due to a filing issue Bamberg, Allendale, And Barnwell Counties will not be covered by the program this year. But other organizations are stepping up to the plate to make sure there’s no disruption to the joy on children’s faces on Christmas morning.

Deanna Miller Berry is the former Bamberg County Toys for Tots Coordinator. After seeing the effort on hiatus for ten years, she knew she needed to help. “It’s been a key and important piece to our community, especially after coming back,” Berry told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

After finding out deadlines were missed, she and her team got to work to find other organizations who would be willing to pick up the load. “I made preparations immediately earlier this summer to get with organizations within the Bamberg, Barnwell, and Allendale County areas who could be able to pick up the torch because we didn’t want children to be without Christmas,” Berry added.

Now several organizations, The Smart Box, The Leather Neck Marines in Barnwell, and Shop Her Closet Outreach Community Center, are stepping up to the plate.

“I thought we were kind of late to them to the game because [Christmas is] coming up really quickly. So I didn’t know if we would have been able to get toys, but things have been really been working out. People have been giving, giving, giving, shooting donations to my cash out, coming by bringing toys,” Shop Her Closet Outreach Community Center Founder Joy Hayes added.

If help is needed, Shop Her Closet Outreach Community Center doesn’t require registration. “What we decided to do was just have the people come to show up on the 19th,” she shared. “I know a lot of kids wanted to bikes. If they get a bike, that’s the only toy they’d be able to receive. If they get a scooter that’s the only toy they’d be able to get. If they get a smaller toy, they can get multiple toys,” she added.

Officials will ask for the parent’s name, phone number, and name of children on the date of. “We have to have some type of accountability about where are these toys are going, but we don’t, we’re not asking them for income and not doing any of that,” Hayes added.

As far as next year, Berry says that those organizations will continue to carry the torch so parents will have a little less to worry about. “We’re taking this time for me to be able to train those new organizations on what they need to do to apply next year so that they can continue to be the Toys for Tots coordinators,” she said. Toys for Tots is such a huge, national platform that can help children on a larger scale especially with funding in rural communities like ours, where funding is very, very hard,” she added.

Visit https://www.toysfortots.org/request_toys/Default.aspx for details on when registration deadlines are in your particular area.

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