Area schoolchildren collected gifts for their peers that were donated to Toybox so needy children could have Christmas gifts. Sacks of toys, from blocks and games to Barbies and Blue's Clues dolls were stacked under the Christmas tree Friday at the Southeast Missourian office in Cape Girardeau.
Day-care centers and schools often provide substantial contributions to Toybox, a program that provides gifts to needy children in the city.
Toybox has been operated for 28 years as a joint effort of the Southeast Missourian and Cape Girardeau Jaycees.
This year, 545 families have requested help, which means that nearly 1,200 children need gifts. Earlier in the week, Toybox was low on donations.
More gifts are still needed to fill all the requests before delivery on Thursday night.
Toys for toddlers and infants, particularly musical toys and things that light up or make sounds, could be used by the Jaycees. Items for older children, like hand-held, battery-operated games and sports equipment make good gifts.
Barbies, Legos, blocks, dolls and accessories, board games, and puzzles also help the Jaycees fill the bags for delivery.
Donations of new, unused toys are being collected at Southeast Missourian offices in Cape Girardeau and Jackson, AAA Travel Agency, First National Bank, First Missouri State Bank, Bank of America, Sanders True Value, Bank of Missouri, Capaha Bank, Cingular Wireless, Union Planters Bank, Alliance Bank, Toys R Us, Commerce Bank, Westfield Shoppingtown West Park, U.S. Bank and Wehrenberg Theatres.
Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to Toybox Trust at P.O. Box 4, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0004.