FLINT (WJRT) (11/127/17)--The countdown to Christmas is on, and Toys for Tots of Genesee County is ready to spring into action. Registration for holiday assistance opened early Monday morning.
"We've been gearing up for a month now. We're ready to go," said Toys for Tots first year coordinator Vicky Muckenthaler.
The signup period runs through December 9th. Any Genesee County resident interested in applying, must do so in person at the Toys for Tots office, located at 4425 South Saginaw Street in Flint. A few changes have been made to the process and eligibility guidelines.
"If you're a DHS client, we need less documentation because you've already been vetted through the state of Michigan. If you're not a DHS client, you need a little bit more documentation, and a family has to be below $32,000 a year," said Muckenthaler.
Muckenthaler anticipates helping more families this season than in the past.
"It could be anywhere between 3,600 and up to 4,200 children. It could be more, but it goes up every year," said Muckenthaler.
While Toys for Tots warehouse appears to be full, that isn't necessarily the case.
"Once we start packing and do 100 families, that's quite a few toys that will be gone already. 150 to 200 a day, it's going to be wiped out pretty quickly," said warehouse manager Dawn Gilmore.
With that in mind, more than 400 donation boxes have been placed in businesses across Genesee County.
"We're having a hard time finding stuff for the older kids and books. Books, we need them right now," said Gilmore.
Along with more toys, Toys for Tots is also in need of more volunteers to help get through the holiday season, doing everything from packing boxes to stocking shelves.
"Without volunteers, we can't do it. That's why we're here. It's so heartwarming to know that you're helping children that otherwise, probably would not have a Christmas, and that's the whole meaning of Toys for Tots," said Muckenthaler.
For a list of Toys for Tots eligibility requirements, click on the related links section.