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DeKalb County Marines' Toys for Tots program in danger

Need to find a volunteer coordinator by end of June

DeKALB – If the DeKalb County Marines cannot find a volunteer coordinator, the Toys for Tots program will probably be discontinued for this year.

The organization is hoping to have a coordinator in place by the end of June, said Stefan Kristen, the group's treasurer. Kristen said he was unable to find the time this year to lead the organization.

"You invest a lot of yourself in it, because you want these kids to have toys for Christmas," Kristen said. "You agonize over it."

Toys for Tots is a charitable toy drive the DeKalb County Marines has organized for the past 16 years. The toys the organization collects from individuals, businesses and other non-profit organizations go to 2,500 to 3,000 children in the county.

Kristen described the position as being demanding on a person's time and energy. While the DeKalb County Marines can provide a lot of institutional support, they need a coordinator.

Kristen said the coordinator is a volunteer who will be the liaison for all of the groups and individuals Toys for Tots contacts.

"No one wants to drop it, but it takes someone with the time and the - you need a certain amount of will involved," Kristen said. "It's a big job."

Because they haven't named a coordinator yet, the toy drive will not be receiving donated toys from their national organization this year, Kristen said.

Kristen said the potential candidates for the position must have good moral character, be able to pass a background check, and be able to attend a three-day training conference in Washington, D.C. The volunteer is not responsible for the cost of the trip.

If the organization cannot find anyone by June, they will try again next year, Kristen said.

"I hope we can make it work," Kristen said. "If not this year, hopefully we can bring it next year."

Individuals who are interested in the position should contact Kristen at 815-762-2903 or at

To help

The DeKalb County Marines are searching for a volunteer to lead Toys for Tots this year. Potential candidates must be able to pass a background check, have good character, and be organized.

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