It’s time to register for the Toy Store.
Registration for the annual toy giveaway program hosted by the Lighthouse Foundation begins Monday, November 2 and will continue each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon at the foundation’s building on South Johns Street the first three weeks of November. An evening registration session will also be held on Tuesday, November 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for those unable to attend one of the daytime sessions.
Those registering must bring a Social Security card and birth certificate for each child, along with proof of residency in Alcorn County such as a power bill, water bill or other document showing their physical address in the county. This year there will be no registration fee.
“We’re really excited to be able to put the program on this year,” said Foundation Executive Director Gary Caveness.
He said they feared the pandemic would make it impossible to host the project which provides toys for children in hundreds of struggling families each year. However, after consulting with medical professionals and studying all state and federal guidelines, they are ready to push forward with a revised format and careful guidelines to ensure the safety of all involved.
He said the economic difficulties created by the pandemic have compounded the challenges facing many families in the county and they are expecting one of the largest numbers of participants ever in the program.
“The need is just enormous this year,” he said.
Caveness said while the need is huge, so is the love of the community for those who are hurting and they look forward to showing that love through the Toy Store as they provide toys as well as encouragement and hope.
He’s counting on the community to once again help them make the program a success and are asking for donations to make it happen.
“We’re so thankful for a community that cares,” he said.
Lighthouse Women’s Director Lenay Williams explained they are taking every precaution possible to ensure the safety of participants and volunteers, starting with the registration process.
Only 20 people will be allowed in the building at one time during registration and those waiting will be spread out to ensure proper social distancing. Once the building fills up, a sign in sheet will be available at the door so those waiting to register can wait in their cars rather than standing outside.
The traditional giveaway day is being split into two separate days on December 9 and 10, and a smaller number of volunteers will be used for each day to reduce the number of people in the building.
Donations are being accepted now and can be made in person at the foundation or by mail to P.O. Box 2121, Corinth, MS 38835.
Volunteers will also be needed throughout the week of the giveaway, but no large volunteer training sessions will be held this year due to the need to limit large gatherings.
Anyone interested in volunteering should call the foundation at 662-286-0091.
More information on the Toy Store can also be found at lighthousecorinth.org and on the foundation’s Facebook page.