Toys swiped from Midland County Toys for Tots donation bins
(12/12/2019) - Volunteers from the Midland County Toys for Tots organization are searching for toys that went missing from about five donations boxes in Midland.
Loretta Ferris, the the Toys for Tots coordinator for Midland and Gladwin counties, said volunteers were collecting toys from bins across the area Wednesday when they discovered that toys were missing from around five donation bins in Midland.
"Didn't think much of it at first," she said. "I figured maybe some of our volunteers just misunderstood our communication and went out and picked them up anyways."
Ferris said that she immediately began making phone calls to see what happened. She was contacted by a store manager about the missing toys.
"The store manager called and told me that it was two women," Ferris said. "I called all of our volunteers that are able to pick up toys and none of them picked up any toys in our community."
Ferris then filed a police report with the Midland County Sheriff's Office.
"With, you know, the way the community has stepped up and donated, we wanted to make sure these gifts get out to these kids," she said.
Volunteers estimate that each box could contain up to a few hundred toys and that the one's that have gone missing could impact this year's giveaway.
"It could cut back on what we are able to distribute," Ferris said. "We'll still get toys out to every child one way or another."
On Saturday, the county's Toys for Tots program will hold its toy distribution at the former Younkers building at the Midland Mall. The distribution begins at 9 a.m.
Around 1,300 children are expected to receive gifts this year.
As the search for whoever took the gifts continues, Ferris said that whoever took them could have found a better way to find presents this year.
"My biggest thing is, if they actually took them, all they had to do is sign up. We would have helped them," she said.
Anyone with information about the missing toys is urged to contact the Midland County Sheriff's Office.
"If anyone knows anything, please make a phone call," Ferris said. "We feel bad and if those kids need service, we will still service them. We just want our community to be respected and appreciated. And not have thinks like this happen."