April 15, 2024

The Toys for Tots program in Crawford County marks its 25th anniversary this year of providing toys at Christmas for needy children with sign-ups beginning today.

Toys for Tots collects and distributes thousands of toys to needy families throughout the county who have children as old as age 16, provided the child still is in school.

The local program has been distributing toys to between 1,100 to 1,200 children in need each year.

Last year, 8,639 toys were given to 1,105 children while in 2019 1,227 children received 7,842 toys.

Carrie Nageotte, coordinator for the Toys for Tots program in Crawford County, is hopeful donations this year will keep up with the potential demand due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Toys for Tots uses Department of Public Welfare guidelines to determine if a family is eligible for service, and families must sign a declaration form.

However, Nageotte said families should not to be afraid to ask if they may be eligible as some may be laid off, but waiting on assistance.

The first round of child registration for the program begins today in Meadville.

However, due to the pandemic, it again will be a drive-thru application process with masks required in order to keep everyone involved safe, according to Nageotte.

Sign-up is today, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Vantage Healthcare Network’s headquarters building, 1305 S. Main St., with another round of sign-ups there Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 1.

For residents in eastern Crawford County, sign-up will be held in the Titusville area on Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Moose Family Center, 614 W. Central Ave.

Meanwhile, donation boxes in area stores and other locations sites, where new unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots may be dropped off, will be in place in early November, Nageotte said. The boxes will be in place until around Dec. 17 so there is time to wrap and distribute the toys. 

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at [email protected].

Registration requirements

Sign-up for the 2021 Toys for Tots program in Crawford County is today, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Vantage Healthcare Network’s headquarters building, 1305 S. Main St., Meadville. It will be a drive-thru application process with masks required for everyone.

To register a child or children, the person must provide photo identification such as a driver’s license or other valid identification. The person completing the application must have proof of current address such as driver’s license or current utility bill, and birth certificates for each child in the household age 16 and under.

Additional sign-up dates are in November in both Meadville and Titusville.

• More information: Contact Carrie Nageotte, program coordinator, at (814) 853-5876.

Did you know?

Toys for Tots, founded in 1947, is a 501c3 nonprofit program and an official project of the Marine Corps Reserve. All campaigns must adhere to its rules and regulations.

To make a donation, have a fundraiser or to volunteer with the organization, call Carrie Nageotte at (814) 282-5876 or visit meadville-pa.toysfortots.org.