Two Toys for Tots Programs Face Different Challenges
The Chenango County Toys for Tots program is thanking the community for overwhelming support after about a third of their toys were destroyed in a storage unit fire.
The blaze at the storage facility on County Road 32 in Norwich was discovered at around 8 a.m. November 29 and was knocked down in about an hour, but not before 40 storage units were damaged and Toys for Tots lost between $8,000 and $10,000 worth of toys, mainly new trucks that were purchased over the summer.
Chenango County Toys for Tots coordinator, Roger Barnhart says the toys were not insured, but the program maintains an emergency fund to help cover costs.
Barnhart describes a roller-coaster of a weekend, starting with the fire and the loss of toys to the high of an outpouring of offers to help.
Barnhart says the support from residents has been so great since the fire that he expects every cent needed to make sure every child that needs a toy will be made up.
Donations to Chenango County’s chapter of the Toys for Tots Foundation stay local and can be made online at the Foundation’s secure website: www.toysfortots.org. Click on New York State and scroll down to Chenango County.
In Broome County, the signups for Toys for Tots are underway for the season.
The program Broome County program is run by the Binghamton Police Department.
Residents can enroll their children at 201 Main Street, Binghamton at the former Video King store until December 14 between 9 a.m. and noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Parents or guardians should bring a birth certificate for each child being enrolled. More information on the Binghamton Toys for Tots program can be found online at www.broomecountytoysfortots.com.
Toy donations can be dropped off at any area police department, the Toys for Tots headquarters at 201 Main Street and other locations that can be found on the Broome Toys for Tots website. Monetary donations are also appreciated.
Broome County program President, Sergeant Steven Wards says money donations can go a long way toward purchasing needed toys for select age groups.