WALLINGFORD, Connecticut (WTNH) – News 8 visited Toys for Tots’ new gift storage site on Friday night in Wallingford, taking a closer look at how gifts are stored behind the scenes.
Until two weeks ago Toys for Tots did not have a home because the usual Wallingford warehouse was unavailable. It was then that Sgt. Ryan Milligan knocked on the doors of Good News Christian Church.
“When I found the church it was a great opportunity for us,” Sgt. Milligan told WTNH.
Fay Williams, a Toys for Tots volunteer for 10 years, said the feeling of giving never gets old.
“I tell people there is a real need for this and they are so grateful,” said Williams. “So every year I get this extra energy. God is giving me this extra energy to do it. For about 3 months I’m dedicated to them – whatever they need me to do.
From a room on the first floor of the church to a balcony overlooking the site, the boxes were filled to the brim. Baby dolls, kitchen sets, books and piles of board games were collected; everything is organized according to age. Sgt. Milligan noted that each child will receive three regular toys, as well as a book, puzzle, and some Christmas stockings.
This year, 3,250 families signed up to receive gifts, and most of these families have an average of 4 to 5 children each.
However, some families arrive unexpectedly, making the need endless. It’s a busy few months of prep, boxing and sorting, but the payoff, in the end, is priceless.
“Sailors who do it, we all feel the same, we all love doing what we do and we can take the next step and volunteer,” Sgt. said Milligan. “And about the community – it’s like nothing else.”
News 8 will be hosting the GR8 Holiday Give on December 11 at Hamden Middle School from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., collecting toys on site. It will be a contactless, driving event.
Those who cannot attend can donate money here.