Toys for Tots already in full swing in Cabarrus County
Monday, Nov. 18, 2013

Toys for Tots already in full swing in Cabarrus County

    Kenneth Brandon, Toys for Tots coordinator for the Marine Corps League’s Cabarrus Attachment 1175, picks up donated toys in his red jeep.
    Cannon Memorial YMCA staff member Jeremy Cawley prepares to deliver a holiday bicycle to a local child through Toys for Tots.
    All lined up and ready to go, toys and bicycles await their new owners at the Cannon Memorial YMCA’s 2012 Toys for Tots distribution. Local donations of toys and money make eyes sparkle for many area children.
    Children receiving gifts through Toys for Tots at the Evangel Worship Center show off their new holiday toys.
  • More information For a list of drop-off locations for Toys for Tots, or for a list of the agencies that distribute the toys to families, visit To make a tax-deductible credit card donation, visit the local Toys for Tots website at Or write a check to Toys for Tots and mail to The Marine Corps League, Cabarrus Attachment 1175, P.O. Box 2033, Concord, NC 28026-2033.

Even before local stores began stripping their shelves of Halloween candy and costumes and stuffing them with Christmas merchandise, the Marine Corps League, Cabarrus Attachment 1175, was preparing to collect thousands of toys for local children.

Their annual Toys for Tots campaign helps make the holidays brighter for needy children in Cabarrus and Rowan counties. Their reach includes Concord, Harrisburg, Mount Pleasant, Kannapolis, Landis and China Grove.

“We support 26 agencies,” said Kenneth Brandon, Toys for Tots coordinator at the Marine Corps League. “We collect contributions, and the (local helping) agencies get them to the children and families that need them.”

While holiday gifts for children seem to be an increasing need, he said, local donations have been down in recent years.

Toys for Tots is looking for new toys, books and school supplies. Monetary donations through the Marine Corps League enable volunteers to purchase additional items.

“It’s important to note that 97 percent of all that’s collected goes to the charity, not to salaries,” said Brandon.

All monetary donations are spent locally.

Brandon said the effort has about 135 drop-off locations in the Cabarrus-Rowan area. Donors can find the familiar white boxes at all local Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations, Carolinas Medical Center–NorthEast, and some churches, government buildings, fire stations and private businesses.

A list of local drop-off locations is available on the local Toys for Tots website.

“We like to have everything collected by Dec. 18,” said Brandon.

Agencies and organizations that help distribute the toys include schools, the Salvation Army, the YMCA, Operation Bread Basket, Evangel Worship Center and the Kannapolis Police Department.

A complete list of distribution agencies is available on the local Toys for Tots website. Families requesting toys must register and present appropriate documentation to qualify.

Businesses and organizations may request a drop box for their site or advertise a special collection event by using a link from the league’s website. For more information, call Kenneth Brandon at 704-788-1681.

Carole Howell is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Carole? Email her at

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