(KYTX) - The Toys for Tots foundation needs your help making sure less fortunate children have something to smile about, this Christmas.
"We try to provide every child with at least three toys, along with some stocking stuffers."
That's a lot of toys when you're talking about as many as 1,500 kids, in Smith County.
Toys for Tots was started by U.S. Marines in 1947. Smith County Toys for Tots coordinator and former Marine, Larry Adkins, says they're not even close to collecting all the toys they need.
"What you see here will be about 1/3 of what we hand out this year."
Donated, unwrapped toys are handed out to parents several days before Christmas so they can be wrapped and placed under the tree just in time for Christmas morning.
"I get great joy. And, I enjoy it immensely, and I get blessed with it every day." says Adkins.
There are a few toy donating rules though. Clothes, food items, and toys that look like realistic weapons are not accepted. Toys for Tots is only collecting new and unused toys.
Volunteer Coordinator Fran Rodebaugh says the looks on parents' faces when they get their bag of toys is priceless.
"They get really excited."
Because they know their children won't have to go without on Christmas.
"I get enjoyment out of it just to know that we're helping families in the Tyler area, in Smith County who need help to make sure that their children get a good Christmas."