HAWLEY—With Thanksgiving meals happily digested and Black Friday/Cyber Monday super sales cooling off a bit, the holiday giving season is entering full swing. As it has for the last nineteen years in Wayne County alone and for the last ten years in both Wayne and Pike counties, Toys for Tots is once again collecting donations for underprivileged families.

Last year, under the watchful eye of coordinator Shari Tirado, the Wayne and Pike County branch assisted over three thousand children. With online registration open until December 13th (see the website: http://honesdale-pa.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/request-toys.aspx) it is likely they will have to match that number, if not exceed it this year.

The Wayne and Pike County Toys for Tots program accepts donations for children of all ages from infants to eighteen-year-olds. Unfortunately, the children in this older bracket tend to be habitually underrepresented as they can be the most difficult to shop for. To remedy this, Shari suggests donating toiletries and grooming supplies, such as shaving kits and hair or skin care products.

Additionally, monetary donations can go a long way to aid the program as it allows Shari and her crew to purchase exactly what they need to fill in any gaps in donated goods.

In an effort to raise funding, Shari is hosting two fundraisers this week.

The first is a 1950s-style Sock Hop at the American Legion Post 311 on December 2nd from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. There is an admission fee of either ten dollars or a donation of one new, unwrapped toy. There will be plenty of food, music, dancing and an appearance by the Marine Wing Support Squadron #472.

The second funding event is a Christmas Party on December 3rd from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Attendees will be welcome to a lunch buffet, music, arts and crafts, goody bags and pictures with Santa and members of the Marine Corps. Children under four can attend for free. Children five to twelve require a ten dollar admission. Teens thirteen and older have a fifteen dollar admission fee, but can enter for ten dollars with a pre-registration by Friday December 2nd. To RSVP, call Darlene McCloud at (570) 229-7498.

Toy donations can be dropped off at numerous locations spread across Wayne and Pike Counties. A full list can be found here: http://honesdale-pa.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/donate-toys.aspx.

Monetary donations can be made online from the Toys for Tots website (http://honesdale-pa.toysfortots.org/) or with a check or money order mailed to Toys for Tots, PO Box 515, Greentown, PA 18426.

Donation distribution will take place this year on December 17th and 18th. Each family will be assigned an “elf” to guide them through the warehouse where they can select up to three toys per registered child, stocking stuffers and selections from books, puzzles and board games. Nothing is pre-wrapped, so parents can find exactly what they want for their children.

For any questions about how to get involved in the program, call Shari at (570) 229-0485, or visit the Wayne and Pike county Toys for Tots website at: http://honesdale-pa.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx.