Donating items for Toys For Tots can be a simple task, but with the shutdown of a major retailer, there are some new challenges Marines are facing this year.

“We honestly usually can’t do it at all by ourselves. We usually get at least a third of our toys from donations,” said Gilman Rutihinda, a Marine representing Toys for Tots Lubbock.

But what happens when there’s no easy place to buy those toys?

“What’s especially hurtful this year is Toys R Us shut down recently, so we’re having to go through other venues to get as many toys as we could for the money we got,” Rutihinda said.

With 7,000 toy donations last year, they aren’t sure if they’ll meet that goal again.

“Every year, we try to increase and top the number that we had last year,” Rutihinda said. “We know that in order to make it, we are going to need a lot more help.”

Keep in mind, donating toys is simple. You don’t even have to wrap them, you just have to buy them and put them in the box

Without big toy companies in town, other places are stepping in to help.

“We decided to partner with Toys for Tots because as a locally owned business, we wanted to support our community. Now that we’re one of the only toy stores in Lubbock, it seemed like a good idea providing somewhere to sell the toys and gather the toys,” said Emilly Foxworth, owner of HobbyTown.

If you don’t know what to give, you can think out of the box.

“Not always necessarily toys, sometimes sports equipment, bikes, stuff like that,” Rutihinda said.

You can drop off toys at a number of places throughout the South Plains. For more information on drop-off locations, visit here.