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Toys for Tots Needs Your Help

Pinellas County Toys for Tots desperately needs about 130,000 toys for children this year. Here's where you can donate in Gulfport.

Gulfport business owner Michelle Kotewa has been collecting unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots program for years and says this is the least amount of toys she's ever received in her donation box.

"This is really bad," she said.

Kotewa, owner of Liberty Tax Service, even ran out to the store and bought toys for the drive. "I've collected about $200 worth of toys, but it's not enough," she said.

And when Kotewa heard on several news outlets that donations are extremely low, she started contacting fellow business owners, friends and Gulfport Patch on Friday to get the word out.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Pinellas County Toys for Tots program needs about 130,000 toys this year. TBT reports that only half of that was collected as of Tuesday this week.

Kotewa says she's willing to pick up donations through the weekend and deliver the toys to the Toys for Tots warehouse in Clearwater this week. You can reach Kotewa at (727) 826-0821.

You can also drop off donations at her office Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 4920 Gulfport Blvd. S. She will make sure they get to the warehouse in time for Christmas.

"I want to make sure every child has a toy for Christmas," she said.

Other Locations:

T and Me Tea Company is also collecting donations. They are located at 2908 1/2 Beach Blvd. S.

How to Help:

The Toys for Tots warehouse in Pinellas County is at 10900 U.S. 19 N in Clearwater. For more information call the Pinellas County Toys for Tots at (727) 678-3060. To make a cash donation, visit toysfortots.org.

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