Fire Departments Chip in on Toys for Tots Drive

BY JONATHAN BYM || Seven Lakes Insider

After seeing a slight decrease over the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local fire departments are hoping for an uptick this holiday season for the annual Toys for Tots drive.

Eight fire departments are participating across the county.

“We saw a pretty good turnout. There was a little dip, but not as bad as we thought, Crains Creek Fire Chief Kenney Mackey said. “Hopefully we will see an increase overall. I know the price of gas has gone up and everything, but I hope we can see an increase in everything. “Every little bit helps, even if it’s a $5 toy or a $2 toy, it’s still better than nothing.”

Moore County firefighters have partnered with the Marine Corps Reserve for more than a decade to collect toys for Toys for Tots.

“I’ve really seen it grow in the last few years,” Mackey said. “Our local Dollar General lets us put a box up in the store since a lot of people will go buy them there, and we also have a box at the station also.”

New, unwrapped toys may be dropped off at participating fire stations until Wednesday, Dec. 7. Monetary donations can also be made via the Toys for Tots website, Participating fire stations are: Crains Creek, Eagle Springs, Pinebluff, Aberdeen, Pinehurst, Seven Lakes, West End and Westmoore.

Mackey said he will go around to the different departments on Dec. 8 to collect the donations for representatives from Toys for Tots to pick up.

Last year, different clubs and agencies locally collected 13,000 toys for 4,000 children countywide.  

The program was started in Los Angeles when a handful of Marine Reservists distributed 5,000 toys to needy children on Christmas Eve 1947. Since its inception, over 281 million children throughout the United States have benefited from the donation of over 627 million toys. 

Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 693-2470 or