Toys for Tots was founded in 1947, and has gone on to become one of the most well-respected holiday charities in the nation. Toys for Tots has given away millions of toys to millions of children in need. In 2013, several places in Hannibal are drop-off locations for the popular toy drive. 

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Mary Lynne Richards with Hannibal Parks and Recreation says that over 550 children in Marion, Lewis and Ralls Counties are signed up to receive toys from Toys for Tots. "Locally sponsored by Douglass Community Services, the goal of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children."

Donation sites for this year's toy drive are:

  • Canton: Orscheln Farm Store and People’s Bank
  • Palmyra: Dollar General and ShopKo
  • Hannibal: Dollar General, Big Lots, Security Finance, Walgreens, Tom Boland Ford
  • New London: Ralls County Library in Center and Rubas

Richards tells us that Tom Boland Ford will also be sponsoring a special effort to collect toys on Saturday, December 7, "Donations may be made 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, December 7 at Tom Boland Ford. There will be hot dogs, chocolate chip cookies and soft drinks. Ford Motor Co. is donating $20 to Toys for Tots for each test drive taken. RSVP and Douglass Community Services volunteers will help with the test drives. The goal is $6,000 for Toys for Tots."

The Hannibal Jaycees are also collecting toys on Saturday during the annual Christmas Parade in downtown Hannibal, which begins at 6 p.m. The American Legion Post on Route MM will host a Breakfast with Santa on December 14 from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m., and toys may also be donated to Toys for Tots at that time.