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Deadline to apply for Oxford Toys for Tots quickly approaching

With Thanksgiving and the official start of the Christmas season around the corner, Oxford Toys for Tots has 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 and applications to receive toys are already flooding in.

However, the deadline to apply is also quickly approaching.

The deadline to submit an application is Nov. 30. Online applications can be made at http://oxford-ms.toysfortots.org or via email to oxford.toysfortots@yahoo.com. Applications can be mailed as well; however, they must be received by Toys for Tots by Nov. 30. Printed copies of applications can be mailed to: Oxford Toys for Tots, 1739 University Avenue #228, Oxford MS 38655.

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.

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

Most merchants will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys until Dec. 23. In Oxford, toy drop off locations are currently located at Petsmart, 5 & Below, Don & Dales Barber Shop, Highland Square Apartments, Beacon Restaurant, Ace Hardware, YMCA, Kroger, Belk, Rebel Rags, Dollar Tree, IHOP, Calvary Baptist Church, Habitat for Humanity, Family Dollar and Office Depot.

In Water Valley, toy donations can be dropped off at: Piggly Wiggly, Barry Weeks Family Dental and Valley Tools.

Hays said the biggest need for toys are for newborns through 5 years old and teens, 14 to 16 years old.

“Specifically, we need bicycles for beginners to 16 years old are needed,” he said.

Any business, civic group, churches or individuals would like to donate new bicycles already put together should contact Hays at 662-832-7977.

Toys For Tots is a 501(c)(3) charity making all donations tax deductible. Written receipts for tax purposes are available on request.

For more information, visit http://toysfortots.org.