Area businesses and organizations prepare for coming holiday season.
Smiles for some area children will be bigger this Christmas because of the generosity of Pratt Walmart.
Walmart has made a $1,000 donation to Toys for Tots for the purchase of additional toys. Tyler Fross, Walmart store manager, said they wanted to make the donation as part of their effort to give back to the community for all their support. This is the fourth year Walmart has made a contribution to the Toys for Tots organization.
"Walmart is trying to be a leader and be actively involved in our community," Fross said.
For the first time, the Pratt Army National Guard is sponsoring Toys for Tots in Pratt. Staff Sgt. Andrew Hughes this is the first year the guard has been a sponsor and they got involved because they were interested in the Toys for Tots organization. It was also a chance for the Guard to give back to the community.
"We're extremely excited to have the Guard as a partner in the community," said Jason Leslie, Toys for Tots coordinator.
The Armory at 207 Rochester in Pratt will be the Toys for Tots distribution point with soldiers assisting in toy dispersal plus helping purchase more toys, Hughes said.
"We buy additional toys for age groups 0-18," Hughes said.
Two Toys for Tots toy drive events are scheduled for November in Pratt. Southwest Truck will hold a toy drive on Saturday, Nov. 16. The mini-semi will be on display at the drive.
On Thursday, Nov. 28, the Pratt City Fire Department will hold a drive at the fire station from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Toys for Tots donations need to be unwrapped, new toys. Monetary donations are also accepted and will be used to purchase toys. Monetary donations can be made to Leslie at Shelter Insurance at 201 East First, Suite A.
Registration to receive toys is now open. Parents or guardians can to online to pratt-ks.toysfortots.org to register their child. Last year, Toys for Tots collected 2,036 toys and served 397 children, Leslie said.
Toy distribution will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the National Guard Armory at 207 Rochester. Proof of residency, financial need and valid ID will be required to receive toys. Only parents or legal guardians will be allowed to collect toys.
Donation sites: Walmart, Tractor Supply, Orschelns, Dillons, Dollar General, Nex-Tech, Legacy Bank, The Peoples Bank, Groom Room, Central Kansas Credit Union, Pratt Church of Christ, Home Lumber, Mead Lumber, Parkwood Village, First State Bank, Municipal Building, Pratt County Courthouse, City of Pratt, Elks Lodge, Skyline School, Pratt High School, Liberty Middle School, Southwest Elementary, USD 382 Preschool, SCTelcom, N'Cahoots Coffee Shop, Shelter Insurance.