Today is the last Saturday for parents or guardians to sign up to receive Christmas toys for their children.

With the annual shopping day scheduled for next Saturday, Wanda Thacker said all applications need to be made by Tuesday.

The Toys for Kids headquarters will be open from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. today and from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. The address for the central headquarters 2325 Belle Plain.

Though no financial need statement is required, parents signing up are asked to bring the child’s Social Security card and their own picture identification.

Those wishing to donate toys can continue to do so throughout the week.

“We will be taking toys right up and including Saturday, Dec. 22,” said Thacker, who established the locally supported Toys for Kids program in 2002 with her husband Dennis.

“On the 22nd, the Lake Dam Volunteer Fire Department and the Explorers will be in the parking lot, and people can drive up and drop off the toys and gifts,” Thacker said.

Financial donations are also needed and welcomed, Thacker said. Checks and money orders can be mailed to Toys for Kids at P.O. Box 912; Brownwood, TX 76804.

Also, to help with the fund-raising, Thacker said, starting at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Red Man Lodge will be hosting Bingo with a $2,500 give-away. All proceeds will be going to the Toys for Kids program. Redman Lodge is located in a building adjacent to the Toys for Kids headquarters on Belle Plain.

Thacker said already some 300 families with nearly 1,000 children have signed up to shop for the gifts next Saturday.

“It’s going to be a push to the finish,” she said. “It always is, but we always make it.”

Dennis Thacker died in 2006, but his wish while he was alive was that all children in Brown County would have gifts to open on Christmas. Since his death, the family has continued the program, each year seeing it grow.

It’s possible, and succeeds each year, Wanda Thacker said, because of the many generous people who give toys and donate financially, and because of the dozens of volunteers who give their time to see that it succeeds.