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Toys for Tots puts Gifts under Trees for Thousands

Toys for Tots opened its doors to families who need toys for Christmas. Toys for Tots is a 65-year holiday tradition that's putting nearly 20,000 presents under trees for around 3,000 kids in our area.
HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- Santa stopped in Hagerstown six days early, but he didn't have reindeer or elves. Instead the Marine Corps Reserves were Santa’s helpers.

Toys for Tots opened its doors to families who need toys for Christmas. Toys for Tots is a 65-year holiday tradition that's putting nearly 20,000 presents under trees for around 3,000 kids in our area.

"They've said the (Marines are the) unchallenged leaders when in comes to helping underprivileged children with toys,” said Chief Warrant Officer Cole Barnhart. “Why toys? It helps the self esteem, you know, they're the future leaders, and it starts at a young age."

And people started lining up a little after 7:00 a.m. on Thursday so they could fill big bags in grocery carts with their toys.

"We have a one income family. I work full time, he's disabled. And we have three children, and it's the only way for us to make ends meet and make sure our children have a nice Christmas. And we are extremely grateful for the program," said Jennifer Kindbom, one of the many who were lined up to get toys.

Kindbom said she has crafty kids, so she was looking for arts and craft related gifts to put under the tree.

"It's very important for our children in Washington County, that they have a Christmas," said Jim Mills, Chairman of Toys for Tots.

And the Hagerstown Army National Guard along with the Maryland Defense Force are helping the Marine Corps Reserves make sure kids have a Christmas.

Cole Barnhart, who’s been involved in the Marine Corps Reserves, and with Toys for Tots, for 22 years, said, “It's just an honor, you know, service is an honor and there's an honor in service."

Toys for Tots will still accept any donations for the next few days, just before Santa completes his trip to deliver toys to boys and girls.

And all of the toys and food, decorations and other supplies were donated by members and groups of the Washington County community.
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