DURANT – Preparation is underway for the 22nd annual Toys for Tots drive in Bryan County. Sign-ups are now being accepted for children ages 16 and younger. The deadline to sign a child up is December 14.
To qualify, children and parents must be residents of Bryan County. Parents can sign their children up at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center and Library during regular business hours at 1515 W. Main St. in Durant.
Last year, the Durant Lions Club distributed gifts for approximately 1,700 children. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the need for toys is anticipated to grow this year.
To donate, the Durant Lions Club asks that gifts be new, unwrapped, and worth about $25. Toys can be dropped off in any Toys for Tots box located in businesses throughout the county. Business and individuals may also make monetary donations to the Durant Lions Club, which will be used to purchase additional gifts.
The Durant Lions Club is also seeking volunteers who have previously recovered from COVID-19 and have the antibodies from the virus. Volunteers who have not had the coronavirus are also welcome to lend a hand.
Toy distribution will be Saturday, Dec. 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bryan County Fairgrounds in Haggard Hall, located on S. Ninth Ave. in Durant. A photo ID and copy of registration or sign-up postcard will be required to receive a gift.
Those who miss the deadline to apply may line up at Haggard Hall at 11 a.m. on Dec. 19. Masks will be required to enter the building. The Lions Club asks that parents not bring children to the event.
In an effort to prevent spreading illnesses, the Durant Lions Club and volunteers will wear masks and sanitize frequently.
“We will do our best to make sure everyone is socially distanced throughout the day,” said Brian Bond, Bryan County Toys for Tots Coordinator. “We will also do our best to ensure there is very little cross contamination amongst toys by only allowing volunteers to touch the toys. All our volunteers will also be required to use masks and hand sanitizer.”
The Durant Lions Club has partnered with Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots for over two decades to provide the Lions Toy Box event for Bryan County families.
For more information or to volunteer, contact the Durant Lions Club on Facebook.