As the December holidays near, people are out shopping for stocking stuffers and seasonal decorations. But at some stores around southeastern Idaho, people are actually dropping gifts off.
At places like Cabela’s in Ammon, people are coming in to give gifts to the kids.
With Toys for Tots, thousands of toys are collected and given to kids who might otherwise not be receiving any.
Mike Crowley, coordinator for the Idaho Falls Toys for Tots, sat inside of Cabela’s Sunday. Working with the program for more than 30 years, he had no knowledge of the program until after his time in the Marines.
“The recruiters came in about 30 years ago, when I was working for Kmart, and asked what we did for Toys for Tots. Well at that time I was not aware of Toys for Tots,” Crowley said.
Since that time he has become heavily involved, taking over as coordinator just three years ago.
Crowley has a lot of fond memories from his time with the program, but among the most special was a moment that happened just last year, when they were able to give a girl a bike.
“Just the smile on her face,” Crowley said, stood out to him.
This year, applications for more than 800 children have been filled in the Idaho Falls region.
“Our main goal…is to take care of the children,” Crowley. “You know, you always have good parents and you have bad parents, we don’t look at their situation, we look at the children.”
And he’s just as excited to take care of the kids this year.