After some toys were lost in a storage unit break-in, the Toys for Tots program is coming back strong, thanks to generous donations from the Missoula community. 

And the campaign is looking for families who would like to apply for assistance by the end of this week. 

The long-running collaboration between Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army has distributed toys to thousands of Missoula area children over the years. The deadline for families to apply is this Friday.

 "A parent or guardian is the one who would fill out the application," explains Tammy Cunningham, the Missoula County Toys for Tots Coordinator. "And again, we have the age requirements from zero to 12. There are a few documents they would need to upload. And then once that process is completed the Salvation Army will be in touch with them on a. time for distribution. And our distribution for toys. Is December 14th from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and December 15th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM."

Toys for Tots suffered a setback when its storage unit was among several that thieves struck earlier this fall. But Cunningham says generous donations have made up the difference.

"So even though we did lose some toys and there was some damage we are going to have a successful campaign this year," Cunningham tells us. "We will be putting toys into the hands of children that are, you know, working through that process of the application. Missoula is the most generous town. It's just amazing. The people that have come forward and reached out. And not only just in a monetary way or wanting to donate toys, but wanting to volunteer."

There are Toys for Tots donation boxes all around Missoula, and this next Saturday volunteers will be collecting toys at Montana Ace Hardware at Tremper's Shopping Center with free pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. 

Applications to receive toys are available online here

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