ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - The Toys for Tots program in the Quad Cities is going strong once again this year, but there's still time to make a donation to a family looking to make a special Christmas memory for their kids.
The boxes are placed around the area, and they'll be out until December 10th, 2016 for those still looking to drop off a new toy. With just a week left for families to register, now's the time they're starting to take inventory of what they have, and what they really need.
"This year, we're looking for games for the younger kids, eight and under, and then books and puzzles for the older children," Pedder said.Each day, a new batch of gifts is dropped off, ready to be put under the tree for the kids.
"I think it's amazing that the community comes together and works to help each other out during the holiday seasons," Toys for Tots coordinator SSgt. Carl Pedder said.
Pedder is in his third year in charge of the Toys for Tots campaign in the Quad Cities. He still gets choked up on Distribution Day when the families come in for their gifts.
"When the parents come in and receive the toys, they come in and a lot of them break down, just full of emotions because they know that they're able to do something for their children because of the community's efforts," SSgt. Pedder said.
That day doesn't happen without the generosity of the community, and that's being shown by the box load. Pedder says there's easily 15,000 toys in their warehouse right now.
"Our only goal is that for the families that need help, that they do register, and that we can find toys for them," Pedder said.
It varies year to year which toys are needed most for the Toys for Tots campaign, and this year, it's not any sort of action figures that are the focus.
"This year, we're looking for games for the younger kids, eight and under, and then books and puzzles for the older children," Pedder said.
It's now time for a strong push to finish the campaign, to get ready to hand of the toys, creating a special Christmas memory.
"It's one of the reasons volunteers come back year after year. You can't describe it. Those mornings, you can't describe it," Pedder said.
There's still time to make a donation to Toys for Tots, including at the WQAD News 8 studios on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016.
People will be standing by all day at the studio, 3003 Park 16th St. in Moline, Illinois from 5:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m, accepting donations of newly-purchased toys.