North Idaho

Toys for Tots needs community's help

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - "Giving Tuesday" is a day when people are encouraged to take time out of their holiday shopping to donate to non-profits. If you're looking for one, there's a group in Kootenai County that could use some help.

Toys for Tots is down donations but is expecting more families looking for help to make their child's Christmas special.

"You just know there are kids that want and deserve a Merry Christmas and they are going to get new shiny toys," local Toys for Tots coordinator Mike Milligan said.

Toys for Tots vo

Tuesday volunteers started pulling out barrel after barrel of toys from their stockpile of donations from last year. They carry toys over so they can hit the ground running.

"Last year we gave toys to 2,645 children. We kind of anticipate, with the economy the way it is, maybe an 8 to let's say 10 percent increase over last year," Milligan explained.

But right now there aren't as many to give away. Toys for Tots is down donations by about 50-percent to start off their season. Volunteers unloaded over 70 barrels but it won't take long to work through these toys. They'll be handed out in two or three days at best.

That may mean a slower start on filling requests from families, but Milligan is confidant the community will come through.

"We're just the ones that are able to give out the toys but the community is the one who brought the toys and donations to us," he said.

There are 200 drop off locations in Kootenai County. You can also visit to find the closest donation spot near you.