Emerald Coast Toys for Tots short on toys

Special to The Log

With the holidays fast approaching, polishing off the rest of the holiday gift list becomes a priority.

The Emerald Coast Toys for Tots toy drive is also working hard to finish off its gift list, too.

“The need for gifts in Okaloosa and Walton County has grown by more than 20 percent this year,” said Ashley Botelho, Emerald Coast Toys for Tots coordinator. “We are committed to making sure every child’s name on our list is taken care of.”

This means more than 10,000 children in Okaloosa and Walton counties are counting on the generosity of the community to make sure their tree isn’t bare, she added.

Sponsors from throughout the community have stepped up to help make sure all these children have something special under the tree this year. However, Toys for Tots is still short of the gifts needed, which is why Botelho and the rest of the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, the local organizational sponsor behind the Emerald Coast Toys for Tots, is asking all of the community to come out and support the toy drive by donating toys or making a financial contribution. To make a donation visit or come support the many upcoming events between now and Christmas:

Saturday, Dec. 20

• Toy Drive Walmart in Niceville 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Toy Drive Walmart in Fort Walton Beach 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.   

• Toy Drive Walmart in South Walton 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.                             

• Toy Drive Bass Pro Shops in Destin 12-4 p.m.              

• Toy Drive Toys R Us in Santa Rosa Mall 12-4 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 21

• Toy Drive Build-a-Bear in Destin Commons 12-4 p.m.

• Toy Drive Walmart in Destin 12-5 p.m.

• Toy Drive Walmart in Niceville 12-5 p.m.