Price increases impact Gratiot Toys for Tots donations – The Morning Sun

Price increases impact Gratiot Toys for Tots donations – The Morning Sun
Price increases impact Gratiot Toys for Tots donations – The Morning Sun

Each year since John Hall took over as program coordinator of the Gratiot County US Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign in 2018, the need has grown.
And 2023 is no different.
Last year the program distributed 5,678 toys to 1,232 children.
This year’s campaign has already received more than 1,100 requests “and there’s still two more weeks to go,” said Hall, an 18-year Marine Corp veteran himself.
“Things are going really well but there’s still a big need,” he said.
The higher cost of toys is making the job even tougher.
“The price of toys has gone way up,” Hall explained. “Probably 30 to 40 percent. “It’s scary.”
Collection boxes have been set up at numerous businesses throughout the county.
Parents can register their children online at until Dec. 10.
Distribution will take place Dec. 13-15 at the Central Michigan Youth for Christ complex at 2550 W. Cheesman Rd. in Alma.
Those who are registered will be assigned times to pick up their children’s toys.
The campaign has received a lot of assistance from the Alma Meijer and Walmart stores as well as a number of local businesses, including the Breckenridge Insurance Agency and Garr Tool, Hall said.
Jordyn Smith of Ithaca is once again serving as the campaign’s Youth Ambassador. She’s been running an Amazon site to collect toys as well as organizing collections at Ithaca Public Schools.
In addition, a toy collection will take place Saturday at Royals Meat Market in Breckenridge that’s being organized by 2 Boyz Racing, a couple of brothers who are dirt bike racers.
Hall is confident the need will once again be met.
“It’s all part of Gratiot County pulling together for the kids,” he said.
However, it’s all a bit bittersweet for Hall, who has been involved in Toys for Tots one way or another most of his life.
His mother served in the US Marines in WWII and the Korean War.
“I remember receiving a Tonka Truck from Toys for Tots when I was 4 years old,” Hall recalled.
But this will be his last go-around after he and his wife Dawn retired and sold their downtown Alma business, Treasure’s, earlier this year. They have since moved to Lansing to be closer to their family.
Now Hall is looking for his replacement. Anyone who may be interested can email him at [email protected] or call him at 989-331-0497.

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