GSP troopers collect Toys for Tots at Cordele parade

GSP troopers collect Toys for Tots at Cordele parade
Toys collected for Toys for Tots

CORDELE, GA (WALB) - Troopers of the Georgia State Patrol Post 30 let the windows down on patrol cars so people could literally stuff their vehicles with brand new toys.

Last year, post 30 collected more than $9,000 for Toys for Tots and the goal this year is to beat that number.

Lt. Crystal Zion started Toys for Tots in 2008 and in 2009, she pushed to make the donations a state-wide initiative.

Officials said natural disasters may have put a damper on families that want to buy gifts this year.

“With the hurricane coming through, it’s a lot harder for families to buy for their children," said Hannah Taylor with GSP Post 30.

Trooper Chris Forsythe with Georgia State Patrol said that the Toys for Tots partnership with the Marine Corps made Marines like fellow colonels and majors jump right on board.

“My mom was a teenager when she had me. So I grew up with that single parent, that single parent mother that was a waitress. So I didn’t grow up with the best things in life," said Forsythe.

Post 30 said it collected more than $9,000 last year and more than 1,000 toys. So, they’ve given troopers a little push to beat that number.

“We have started with the troopers kind of a little competition to see who can collect the most donations," explained Taylor.

Business owners in Cordele who plan to donate said they’re more than happy to give to Toys for Tots.

“You look around every day and see people that don’t have the same opportunities that you have and you wanna help support them and let them experience the same joys you do," said Adam Hamlin, owner of Crisp Air Heating and Cooling.

Troopers said people can apply to receive donations and workers can check with other organizations to make sure recipients are not on more than one donation list.

“Seeing these kids that have the single income families, I push them to help them to get the things that they need,” said Forsythe.

Troopers said that once all toys and donations are collected, Post 30 writes a check to Toys for Tots and representatives buy items under Toys for Tots.

The Toys for Tots drive runs through Dec. 15. If you’d like to donate, you can call (229) 271-4972 or your local GSP office. You can mail your toys or donations or troopers can pick them up.

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