Toys for Tots to begin taking applications Oct. 1

Published 6:00 am Sunday, September 17, 2017

While fall has barely made its way into Oxford, local and national organizations have already begun getting ready for Christmas to make sure no child is left without something special under the tree.

Toys for Tots is a national organization run by the U.S. Marines each year with help of local volunteers who help organize toy and donation drives. The national program receives donations each year from large corporations and distributes promotional material to the local nonprofit organizations that work with their communities.

The Marine Corps League Detachment No. 1431 in Oxford, under the leadership of retired Marine Gene Hays, is already holding events to support the annual project.

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Residents can begin submitting applications on Oct. 1, either online or mailing a printed copy of the application that can be found at various places around Oxford.

Local businesses can participate by applying online at to request a toy collection box to be dropped off at their business. Monetary donations can also be made online.

Those applying to receive toys for children birth through 14 years old must apply online for the Lafayette County program. No applications will be accepted over the phone.

Applicants will need to mail copies of proof of receiving government assistance, like SNAP benefits, WIC or Medicaid, and copies of their children’s birth certificates.

Deadline for applications is Nov. 15.

Other organizations can also hold fundraisers for Toys for Tots by working with Hays.

The pickup date for those whose applications are accepted has not yet been released. An email will be sent to recipients telling them when and where to pick up the toys. Each child will receive at least two toys.

The website should be up around Oct. 1 for requesting toys. The official website for Lafayette, Panola, Pontotoc, Union and Yalobusha Counties is: Simply click on “Request a Toy” header at the top of the page and follow instructions.

To communicate with the Toys For Tots Local Coordinator you must do so by email: You can also scan the required documents into your computer and email them to that same email address.