The and are kicking off the annual Toys for Tots collection drive at locations throughout the community.
Collection boxes have been placed at 20 locations in Lake Zurich.
"Give if you can," said Officer Vince Teronde. "We all need to buckle down and help each other."
Teronde, a former U.S. Marine, said Toys for Tots started during World War II as a way to provide gifts for children in military families. The U.S. Marine Corps took over the program, and both active and reserve Marines collect items each year. The program was expanded to include everyone, not just military families, Teronde said.
"It makes me sleep better on Christmas knowing that at least one kid got a gift," he said.
Gifts will be collected at these locations:
- (main fire house)
- Echo Products, 400 Oakwood Road
- Lake Zurich Family Arts Center
Teronde said the last day to drop off gifts is Dec. 16.
He wanted to express a special thanks to Lake Zurich resident Geoff Meyer, who is the president of The Chicagoland Youth Football League (TCYFL). TCYFL Cares is providing a PODS storage container in which to store collected gifts.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to identify Geoff Meyer as the president of The Chicagoland Youth Football League.