It’s not too late to give

Published 4:25 pm Monday, December 5, 2016

Every year, big red and white boxes appear in many offices and retail stores about town. They start their lives as simple, empty cardboard receptacles. They end their stretch of usefulness filled with gifts — a testament to the good will of people who understand that Christmas is fundamentally about giving.

The Toys for Tots campaign has happened every year since 1947, when a Marine Corps Reserve officer and his wife decided they’d like to do something for less-fortunate children who may not experience Christmas in the traditional ways with which the holiday is associated.

In North Carolina, approximately one in four children lives in poverty; as Beaufort County is a Tier 1 county, that number applies here at home. For children living in poverty, items as necessary a food for breakfast, a coat for cold days or pencils for school work can be hard enough to come by. Imagine what Christmas morning might look like for those children.

It likely looks pretty bleak.

This is why Toys for Tots exists: to create a moment of joy on a day where joy is the norm; a bright moment for a child who might not get too many bright moments.

A simple toy, delivered unwrapped to one of the many Toys for Tots boxes around town can make a huge difference in the lives of Beaufort County’s children.

Through the work of Beaufort/Hyde Partnership for Children, Washington Rotary and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the list of toy recipients and the toys are vetted — each child is truly in need and each gift categorized for the right age and/or gender. It’s a massive project that takes many volunteers and much space at All Saints Hall at the church, come collecting and sorting day.

Collection day this year is Dec. 9. That makes three days until the red and white boxes will disappear until another holiday season rolls around.

There’s still time to help Beaufort County’s children wake up to a gift of their own on Christmas morning. Find a red and white box near you.