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Toys for Tots officials report donations decline
It’s been a tough year for donations to the Marine Corps League’s Toys for Tots program on Whidbey Island.
According to organizer Mike McClung, donations are down about 40 percent, the impact of which will be felt next year.
“Last year we spent about $13,000 on toys. This year we’ve spent about $12,500 but we haven’t been able to replenish our funds,” McClung told members of the Maj. Megan McClung Marine Corps League at its regular meeting Thursday evening in Oak Harbor. “We’re going to be OK this year, but it’s next year I’m worried about.”
McClung told the group a fundraiser last weekend at the ferry dock in Clinton — the group’s major Toys for Tots fundraiser — brought in just over $3,000, half of what the group earned last year.
Another factor that has hurt the effort is that the cost of toys has risen.
“Prices are up across the board,” McClung said. “The cost of toys has gone up from $2 to $5 each.”
There are two more fundraising opportunities — the holiday choir and band concerts coming up at Oak Harbor High School.
The annual Holiday Choir concert will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19 and the holiday band concert will be held at the school at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20.
All the money and toys collected on Whidbey Island stay on Whidbey Island, according to McClung. This year there are 1,800 children on the list, up about 300 from the previous year.
Toys for Tots collection boxes will remain at several participating businesses across the island through Saturday, Dec. 22.
Contributions can be mailed to: Toys for Tots — Whidbey, MCL Detachment 1210, P.O. Box 977, Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Call 360-320-3013 for information.