Residents can help put gifts under tree for less fortunate

The Toys for Tots program has a new name this year, but its mission is still the same: to make sure children from low-income families in Moffat County have presents to open on Christmas morning.

Due to organizational changes in the Toys for Tots organization, the Moffat County United Way changed the name of this year's gift-giving program to Christmas for Kids. The program will work the same as in the past, but the United Way dropped its affiliation with the Toys for Tots nation-wide program to ensure Moffat Country's donations went to local children, said Georgina McAnally, the chairperson for Christmas for Kids.

"They (Toys for Tots) changed their rules and regulations, which required us to change ours," she said.

This year's program is sponsored by the United Way and Moffat County Partners. Last year's campaign, which was sponsored by the United Way and the Craig Lions Club, raised over $4,700 and gave 385 toys to children in Craig, Maybell and Dinosaur. The campaign has been helping local families for the past five years and has grown every Christmas.

The program needs donations of toys for children newborns through 18 years-old. People can give monetary donations at the United Way office or drop off new toys at one of the donation centers in Craig: AT&T Cable, Bank of Colorado, Community First Bank, First National Bank of the Rockies, Jackson's Office Supply or the Yellow Rose Day Spa.

Christmas for Kids can only accept new toys.

"We don't have the services to fix up old toys," McAnally said. "We just don't have the manpower to do that."

Anyone who needs ideas for toys to donate can grab an ornament from the Christmas for Kids tree at K-mart in Craig. Each ornament on the tree has a child's Christmas wish written on it. Sports balls, Barbies and games are also safe bets, McAnally said.

Friends and neighbors can also make requests for applications be sent to specific families.

"We don't want anyone to fall through the cracks," she said.

Christmas for Kids is currently accepting applications from low-income families. Those needing help this Christmas can pick up applications at Moffat County Social Services at 590 Breeze St., or Moffat County United Way at 439 Breeze St. As of Nov. 17, at least 100 families had picked up applications.

Application forms are due by Dec. 8., and income verification must accompany the forms.

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