With Thanksgiving nearly over, the Toys for Kids program is gearing up for its final push to distribution day.
    The program, which distributes Christmas toys to hundreds of Brown County families in need each December, is still looking for volunteers, donations and registrations.
    Wanda Martin runs Brown County Toys for Kids from her Grand Starz venue in Brownwood. She said 216 families had signed up to receive toys so far, and that she hoped the number would top 500 by the time registration closes on Dec. 14. Interested families can stop by Grand Starz Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to sign up for gifts. Parents will need a photo ID for themselves and a social security card for each child recipient.
    Gift distribution day is on Dec. 17 this year, and Martin is still seeking volunteers to help with the big event. That day volunteer “elves” will escort parents through the Grand Starz gift warehouse where they will choose gifts for their children. The presents are then wrapped on site.    “Mainly, we need a whole lot of wrappers,” Martin said. “We need tons of wrappers and elves.”
    Martin said Toys for Kids still had a long way to go with its fundraising, too. “[We’re] not even a fourth of the way through with donations,” she said. “We’re hoping a lot of donations come in, and that everyone who needs help becomes aware and knows where we’re at and gets down here.”
    The end of registration on Dec. 14 coincides with Two-Stepping for Toys, a day-long toy drive and fundraiser thrown by KOXE and Wendlee Broadcasting. “When everybody drives by the radio station, they see all those toys and they’re like ‘Oh my gosh, I need toys,’” Martin said. “So then they want to come in and sign up that day.”
    On Tuesday, longtime Toys for Kids volunteers Debbie Lee and JoAnn Snow were at Grand Starz helping prepare. Lee said there was nothing like the satisfaction of distribution day.
    “Just to know that each kid is going to get at least three presents is very rewarding,” she said.
    Snow, who has helped Toys for Kids for over ten years, said the Brownwood community should sign up to volunteer. “It’s wonderful to know that kids are going to have a Christmas present,” she said. “It makes you feel as good as what you’re doing for others. You get as much fun out of it as they do.”
    Grand Starz is located at 2323 Belle Plain in Brownwood.