Dozens of Toys for Tots volunteers spent Sunday morning at the Coast Guard Air Station sorting through more than 10,000 toys to prepare them for Christmas distribution.
Toys for Tots sorts through toys every week during the campaign, but Sunday's sorting was the last and largest one with the December 20th collection deadline fast approaching. The volunteers sorted the gifts by type of toy and age group.
Organizers said that the strong volunteer turnout helped them to get things done fairly quickly. At least one local company, Northwest Michigan Surgery Center, sent a full group of employees to the sorting to help out.
"We wanted to give back to the community. You know, Traverse City is really big on community, and volunteering, and charity, and so we just thought Toys for Tots would be a great way to get our employees together, get everybody in the charitable spirit, and really to make a special day for kids that otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to have such an awesome Christmas," said Sarah Ashley, one of the volunteers with the surgery center.
Mike Kent, one of the lead volunteers with Toys for Tots, said that although the collections end on December 20th, drop-off sites such as Bill Marsh and Fox Motors likely would not turn away any donations before Christmas.