NORTH PORT — Walter Alexander, of Toys for Tots, is grateful for the response from the community.

Alexander, a member of Marine Corps League Detachment 948, is co-coordinator for Toys for Tots in North Port.

Since November, the local detachment along with volunteers has been collecting toys for North Port needy families.

The detachment was the recipient of an office thanks to Coldwell Banker and have been using it as a distribution and pick-up center for the toys they have received.

Alexander is thankful for the space and how the community has come out in support of Toys for Tots.

So far, Toys for Tots in North Port has received requests from 333 families.

Alexander expects the number to go up early next week as the last round of sign-ups approaches Christmas. He said if a family was in need, they can stop by the office, fill out a form and get toys after the deadline.

“We have filled 50 to 60 orders (Thursday),” volunteer Sam McClurg said.

McClurg has been overseeing parts of the distribution and has been working to fill bags for families.

“We’re doing good,” he said.

McClurg said the response from the community has been great as well, with plenty of items coming in for all age groups.

The detachment was also able to buy items for older boys and girls. The money for the items came from donations to the group, Alexander said.

There are items for boys and girls in the 11 to 17 age range, who typically are hard to shop for and sometimes overlooked.

The group received a large amount of toys for young boys.

McClurg said in addition to toys, the group also received some 60 bikes to give out to families in need.

Alexander and the volunteers will be collecting donations until Dec. 15, but if someone misses the deadline they can still bring toys to the distribution center.

The volunteers are thankful for the response from the community along with the help from Coldwell Banker and Publix.

“Everything is coming together,” Alexander said.

Those who would like to sign up for Toys for Tots can call 530-308-2271 or visit the Toys for Tots distribution office from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the former Coldwell Banker building at 14260 Tamiami Trail, North Port.

Toys for Tots donation boxes are available at all city of North Port Fire Stations and the police stations at City Hall, 4980 City Hall Blvd., North Port.

Along with Toys for Tots, the city is also wrapping up their 12 Days of Giving campaign. According to North Port spokesperson Josh Taylor, the city will be collecting toys and canned goods at the Poinsettia Festival on the City Green tonight.

The Poinsettia Festival will go until 8:30 p.m. in front of North Port City Hall, 4970 City Hall Blvd., the parade begins at 5 p.m.

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