DENMARK, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) — Christmas is only 10 days away and the Bamberg Toys for Tots needs your help making sure every kid wakes up to something under the tree.
The need for those gifts is dire, but volunteers say there’s still time to help. It’s the first time the organization has set up in Bamberg County in a decade and local volunteers say that long layoff has left them with empty boxes and a growing need for toys.
Bicycles, footballs, and dozens of Toys for Tots boxes line the inside of a Denmark warehouse ready to make a child’s Christmas wish come true.
It’s the first time Toys for Tots has come back to this part of South Carolina in ten years. Local coordinator Deanna Miller-Berry says it took months of work but managed to bring to organization back and not just here.
“When Toys for Tots gave me Bamberg, Allendale, and Barnwell,” Miller-Berry says, “and I went to the conference and saw that every county in South Carolina was covered except Edgefield and Hampton, I thought we can’t leave those kids out too.”
She says the donations are slowly trickling in and stacking up.
“So far, we’ve added it all up and we’ve got a little more than 15 hundred toys,” Miller-Berry says, “not including what we just got in today.”
But she says even that’s not enough Christmas cheer for all five counties. 2,300 children are signed up and approved to get a toy and Deanna says that long gap has lead to a slow community response.
“Having that causes us to have a deficit, which means that if we don’t meet our quota then we’re going to have to tell kids who are already approved that Santa’s not coming,” Miller-Berry says. “And that’s something I don’t want to have to do this Christmas holiday.”
As some boxes get shipped out, others sit empty. She says giving folks more time will lead to more gifts for Santa to deliver Christmas morning.
“We not only want to give toys, we want to give hope and that’s what it means to bring Toys for Tots back to these counties,” Miller-Berry says. “We’re giving hope to everyone.”
Miller-Berry says they were originally supposed to start handing out toys today, but they have to wait until next week while they gather more gifts. She says there will be four distribution sites in their four main counties open next week for folks to either drop-off or pick up their toys.
You can also choose to donate to the Denmark Toys For Tots operation online. When making donations to Bamberg, Allendale, Barnwell, Edgefield and Hampton Counties, choose the Denmark, S.C. location since it services all five counties. They are also looking for companies with moving trucks or trailers to help with moving toys from the warehouse to each location.
These are the four locations they will be operating at each day between Tuesday and Friday.
Tuesday, Dec. 19
*Allendale County and Hampton County, DSS building
Wednesday, Dec. 20
*Edgefield County, Edgefield Community Gym
Thursday, Dec. 21
*Bamberg County, Bamberg Civic Center
Friday, Dec. 22
*Barnwell County, 677 Joey Zorn Blvd., directly across from the YMCA