MASSENA - Toys For Tots Director Raymond J. Cutway hopes for a strong showing of generosity in Massena to help him reach his goal of providing Christmas gifts for 6,000 children.
Mr. Cutway has collected some 6,400 toys so far, which is just over halfway to his goal of 12,000 toys. He wants to match last year in which the charity provided 6,119 county children with two toys each.
Any toy would help. It doesnt have to be an expensive toy, (just) whatever they feel they can afford, Mr. Cutway said. It all stays here in the county.
Mr. Cutway will hold two toys drives in Massena this weekend. This first will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Walgreens on Main Street, and the second from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Kinney Drugs across the street.
He will also hold a toy drive Friday at the Walmart on Route 11 in Potsdam.
This is Mr. Cutways 10th year as the Toys For Tots director, and he says the last few years have been the hardest to reach his donation goals.
Its a lot tougher; donations are down, he said. I take what I can get. I know how the economy is.
Though he acknowledged some households may have more trouble affording Christmas gifts these days, he stressed that it should not prevent one from celebrating the holidays.
Everyone deserves a Christmas. People are starting to forget that, Mr. Cutway said.
In addition to hosting toy drives at stores around the county, toy boxes have been distributed to more than 40 stores and businesses in the area, including the Daily Courier-Observer office on Main Street in Massena. Cash donations are also accepted.
If you, your business or organization is interested in making a donation, please contact Mr. Cutway at 393-4830. Donations may also be made through the website, www.toysfortots.org. Once there, pick New York state and then St. Lawrence County. Mr. Cutway said that any money donated to St. Lawrence County Toys for Tots is used to purchase toys, which will then end up being distributed to children n St. Lawrence County.
Those interested in helping the cause may also attend one of the upcoming celebrity waiter events. These events have already been held at Pizza Huts in Canton and Ogdensburg, and the date has not yet been set for one at the Pizza Hut in Potsdam.