MOLINE, Ill. — Hundreds of toys were donated during WQAD's annual Toys for Tots drive Tuesday, Nov. 30.
"Every kid deserves to have a Christmas," Stacey McIntosh, who stopped by to donate, said.
Community members turned out in droves with gifts in the hopes of making Quad Cities children's holidays a little brighter.
"We donated a bike and a helmet," David Castellaw with Black Tie Remodeling said. "Growing up, I always had bikes. I think every kid deserves to have a bike."
The Toys for Tots program was one of the Marine Corps’ first community action efforts and one of the nation’s flagship Christmas charitable causes.
The community was determined to help put a smile on children's faces come Christmas morning.
"If they have the means, it's great to donate because there's a lot of kids out there that just aren't going to get what you know, other kids get on Christmas," Castellaw said.
Toys for Tots historically has the lowest amount of donations for boys and girls between ages 10 through 12.
"I just drove by, and I thought, 'Okay, I gotta go stop by and get some toys because I totally believe in what the Marine Corps is doing,"' one resident said.
U.S. Marine Corps Quad Cities Toys for Tots coordinator Sergeant Armando Medrano. said COVID is still impacting the need for gifts this season and the list of people registering to receive gifts is getting longer.
"The need is definitely up this year," Medrano said. "I think the community is still feeling the effects of the pandemic, and it's so important for the community, for all those in the community who are able to donate to get out, because without the wonderful people of the Quad Cities, we wouldn't be able to do what we do for these children. And every child deserves a little Christmas."
Community members made sure to check off a number of wishes by donating over a thousand gifts and over a thousand dollars.
"Putting a smile on a child's face and relieving one ounce of stress or pressure that parents might have during the holiday season," McIntosh said. "You know, one less worry, a parent can maybe pay a water bill the electric bill."
The overwhelming turnout during the drive will help make spirits bright for children to feel the joy of Christmas.
The last day to sign up to receive gifts is Wednesday, Dec. 1.
Toys for Tots is collecting toys until Dec. 6. Monetary donations are accepted, and you should make checks payable to "Toys for Tots."
For additional information on toy drop-off locations or child sign-up, click here.