National Guard has toys for families

National Guard has toys for families

URBANA — When the National Guard Unit in Urbana asked for some toys to give to the children coming to its family Christmas party, local stores were generous.

So very generous, in fact, the guard unit has plenty of toys left over to donate to local families in need.

There were about 50 children at the Christmas party of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team based in Urbana, and each child got a bagful of toys, said Tina Meneely, family readiness group leader for unit.

But there are many toys left over from that party, she said. Plus, the National Guard unit at Champaign has added the leftover toys from its holiday party to give away, she said.

"We have stuffed animals, Barbies, coloring books, crayons, we have the little dart guns, we have G.I. Joes, Ninja characters, action figures, jump ropes, a huge variety," she said.

The toys are intended for children of families in need, but nobody is checking financial eligibility, Meneely said. These toys are being given away on the honor system.

Meneely said she has contacted some local groups to get the names of some local families who might need these toys, and some of the toys have already been given away.

"We have quite a few more toys to give out," she added.

So, any families still in need of toys for holiday gifts should contact her, Meneely said.

She can be reached at 417-9590.