The national Toys for Tots organization is planning to collect and distribute toys in Anderson County this year, making Christmas brighter for some of Palestine's children.
Amanda Malone, co-pastor of Cornerstone Worship Center in Palestine, will serve as the Anderson County Toys for Tots representative, supervised by Cherokee County Toys for Tots Coordinator Stephen Hutson.
“Cherokee County's Toys for Tots program has been sending toys to Anderson County in the past, but this year they were looking for a representative in Palestine to help them here,” Malone told the Herald-Press Monday. “Next year, the Toys for Tots program will be sending me to Virginia to be certified as a coordinator.”
Toys for Tots was established by the United States Marine Corp. in 1947 — distributing 450 million toys over the years to children in need throughout the country.
Malone has already placed Toys for Tots boxes at several businesses in Palestine.
“I know Christmas is not about the toys, but in a child's mind, they don't understand that,” Malone said. “Through the toy drive, we can make children smile because they know someone cares about them. It also helps take the stress off the parents, who are not able to buy for them at Christmas.”
Malone's church, Cornerstone Worship Center held its second annual Back to School Bash in August, providing 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to area students.
“We want to be God's hand extended. Through Toys for Tots, it allows Cornerstone to be involved in the community and reach out again,” Malone said.
Application sign-ups for the toy drive (for children of all ages) will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 and from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at Cornerstone Worship Center, located at 1100 Salt Works Rd. in Palestine.