BINGHAMTON, NY – Local police officers and other volunteers have begun an annual tradition that seeks to make certain all children can have a present to open on Christmas Day.
Broome County Toys for Tots has opened for the season inside a portion of the former Bon-Ton Department Store in the Oakdale Mall.
Parents who need help getting gifts for their children can come and register.
Each child gets several items including a book, puzzle, arts and crafts as well as toys.
Broome County Toys for Tots, which was started by local police agencies in 1962, relies entirely on monetary and toy donations from the public.
Binghamton Police Officer and Toys for Tots Coordinator Chris Marshall says many toys come from events held by different local businesses and organizations.
“There’s too many to name them all. Everybody is great. They come together and help us out this time of year to make sure that the families have gifts for under the tree,” says Marshall.
To donate toys, either come to the Mall, or find a donation barrel in the community.
To receive toys, parents must present I-D, birth certificates for each child and proof that they live in Broome County.
Children must be between 1 and 10 years-old, no infants.
To get to the temporary headquarters, you must enter through the outside entrance to the former Bon-Ton that is nearest to Ruby Tuesday’s.
You can’t access it from inside the mall.