Going shopping on Black Friday to get the lowest prices of the year?  Do good — buy gifts for less fortunate families.

Drop off your gifts at Helix’s Administration Office over the next few weeks — up to December 21st — and we’ll deliver them to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program.  On Christmas, Marine Corps coordinators will work with local churches and social welfare agencies to distribute the gifts to families in and around East County.

Our Toys for Tots collection box will be in the lobby of our Administration Office at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. We’re open from 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Wondering what to buy? Here are some helpful answers from the Marine Corps:

Q: Is there a list of toys available to help me?
Toys for Tots does not publish a list of appropriate toys to donate.  If such a list were created, most would follow it, resulting in a limited selection of items to distribute in each community.  We would rather our donors consider what might be an appropriate gift for their own child/relative, purchase the item, and donate to Toys for Tots.

Q: Shopping for pre-teens and teens is especially difficult.  Do you have any ideas?
The Foundation does purchase supplemental toys/gifts for our campaign sites and focuses on these age groups.  In the past, items purchased for these groups have included, but are not limited to:  sporting equipment/bags/balls; books, backpacks, cosmetics, purses, watch/wallet gift sets, bath gift sets, board games, radio control cars/trucks, hand-held electronics, skateboards/helmets, curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers.

Q: Are there toys or gifts that are not accepted?
Toys for Tots prefers not to accept realistic looking weapons and gifts with food.  If donated, such items will NOT be distributed.

Q: Should I gift wrap my donated toy?
Toys must be new and unwrapped.

Thank you, in advance, to all of those who donate.