Headquartered in Gwinnett, Toys For Tots needs donations more than ever

SUWANEE -- The closest thing to Santa's workshop in Georgia is again gearing up in Gwinnett.

For the fourth year, the Toys For Tots distribution warehouse -- the lifeblood of an operation that covers metro Atlanta -- is located in Suwanee. Gifts are being sorted, packaged and dished out at the donated space at a time when donations are needed as badly as ever.

"With the economy, there's a greater need this year than in previous years," said Cherrie Carney, Atlanta Toys For Tots spokeswoman. "We don't not have a number in mind; our goal is to get as many toys as possible."

The agency, staffed by volunteers, is offering shifts at the Suwanee warehouse. All Gwinnett County Fire Stations are doubling as toy-drop sites for the 2011 campaign.

The non-profit organization was established and is managed by the United States Marines Corps Reserve to collect toys for disadvantaged children.

"As of today, our request for toys is greater than any other campaign we've held," said organizer A.T. Wilson, a Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer. "Our only hope of fulfilling these requests is to get our information out to our local communities to promote our campaign."

For volunteering and other information, visit www.atlantatoysfortots.com. For a full list of toy-drop sites around Gwinnett, visit www.northatlanta.toysfortots.org.