Toys for Tots in need of donations

Drop boxes available in Lake, Osceola, Mecosta counties

Mecola Counties Toys for Tots, which services children in Mecosta, Osceola and Lake counties, is in need of donations this year. 

Mecola Counties Toys for Tots, which services children in Mecosta, Osceola and Lake counties, is in need of donations this year. 

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Angela Malek wants to make sure every child in Lake, Osceola and Mecosta counties has a gift to open this Christmas. It’s been her mission for the past 18 years. 

For the past three years, Malek has been the coordinator of Mecola Counties Toys for Tots, which services children in Lake, Osceola and Mecosta counties.

With Christmas nearing on the calendar, Malek is hard at work again collecting toys for this year’s distribution. However, there has been a shortage of donations compared to a year ago, and Malek is reaching out to the public, business owners, and anyone else who is interested in making the holidays special for one child.

Donation boxes were placed in several locations throughout the three counties, such as grocery stores — locally-owned and chain, Family Dollar stores, Dollar General stores, Meijer, and Walmart.

“I try to go at least once every two weeks to check on the boxes and collect whatever donations are there,” Malek said. “We are in need of toys this year. The boxes have been empty.” 

As of this week, between the three counties, there are 104 families that have applied to participate in Toys for Tots with a total of 662 children, Malek said. 

Monetary donations can be sent through mecola-mi.toysfortots.org or by mailing a check, payable to Toys for Toys, to Malek at 9365 Davey St., Lake, Michigan, 48632. 

“We really need help this year so we don’t leave any kids behind and not get a gift for Christmas,” Malek said. 

This year’s distribution — for all Lake, Osceola and Mecosta counties — will be Dec. 11 at the Big Rapids Eagles Club, at 18361 16 Mile Road, Big Rapids.