Real Time Communications Industry News

TMCNet:  Toys for Tots need is down here, higher elsewhere

[December 04, 2012]

Toys for Tots need is down here, higher elsewhere

Dec 04, 2012 (The News Courier - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- For 64 years, the U.S. Marine Corps has ensured that underprivileged children across the country have a merry Christmas.

The same is true for children across North-Central Alabama as Toys for Tots efforts in Limestone and surrounding counties ramped up last week. Volunteers worked in a warehouse in southern Limestone, bagging up toys for distribution this week.

In Limestone, about 515 children were registered to receive toys this year. Kaye Young McFarlen, director of the local United Way, said that number represents a drop from previous years.

"I don't really have a feel (for why there were fewer families)," McFarlen said. "I don't think the economy is significantly better, but with some families, things have gotten better for them." She said local churches are helping other families in the area because they needed clothing and basic essentials, and not just toys.

While the number of children to be served in Limestone was lower this year, that's not the case in other area counties. Marshall County, for instance, has about 2,400 children who will be served by the initiative.

The growing need across the 13 counties in Master Sgt. Keith Langford's coverage area was surprising to him, but he's also been surprised by the outpouring of generosity. This is Langford's first year as area coordinator for the toy drive, but he said operations have been relatively smooth.

"It's been very time consuming, but I also understand the importance of networking," he said. "I've met a lot of wonderful people through (Toys for Tots)." Efforts in North Alabama were helped by WZYP's Bikes or Bust campaign, which brought in 1,752 bikes over the four-day event. Langford said not every child will receive a bike, but they will be given out per family as supplies last.

About 100 of those bikes will be received by Limestone County children, in addition to bags of toys. Each bag contains about seven toys.

Toys for Tots put out about 800 collection sites in the 13 counties. For those who don't want to drop off a toy, Langford said the organization would also accept monetary donations. However, monetary donations go to the Toys for Tots foundation, whereas donated toys stay in the counties where they are dropped off.

"Getting the toys saves me a step, but a lot of people are busy and don't like to take the time (to buy a toy)," he said. "But with the bin in front of Toys R Us, I'm emptying that every week." There are no more scheduled sign-up events in Limestone County for Toys for Tots. However, McFarlen speculated there might be some families who have waited until the last minute to make preparations for Christmas.

Those who missed their window of opportunity will have one last chance to sign up, however, on Dec. 18 in Huntsville. Langford said it would be the last and only day to register. Sign-up times will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will be held at 9034 South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville, next to Goody's.

"I get 40 to 60 phone calls per day from people who have missed registration," Langford said.

Family members should provide the necessary information, including a valid ID, proof of residency, proof of income, a birth certificate for each child and a Social Security card for each child. Verifications will be conducted that day, and approved families will leave with their toys.

For more information on the Toys for Tots drive and how to donate, visit

Help from Carpenter Local Toys for Tots staging efforts were aided this year by Carpenter Technology Corporation, which provided warehouse space for individual volunteers and those with the United Way, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs to pack toys.

"That's been a great relationship," McFarlen said of Carpenter. "They won't be just providing quality jobs, but they'll be great corporate citizens." ___ (c)2012 The News Courier (Athens, Ala.) Visit The News Courier (Athens, Ala.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To Real Time Communications's Homepage ]

Featured Videos

GenView Real Time Session Manager Demo

Session-based VoIP and rich media services such as video can place unique demands on the network.


Contact GENBAND about the SPiDRâ„¢ WebRTC Gateway by clicking here.

A videoconference that calls you

On the busiest of days, who has time to stop and search for that bridge information, to have to dial or hope the link works...only to wait for the chairperson to arrive?

Call Grabber Demo

Move calls seamlessly between phones, soft clients and mobile devices at the push of a button.

Hosted Unified Communications

GENBAND's Hosted Unified Communications is a SMART OFFICE™ solution that enables voice over broadband to Business users, providing flexible migration from legacy services, supporting full regulatory features, and offering advanced services.

Featured Whitepapers

Is Your Network Ready for the Internet of Everything?

The telephone industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation that began with the introduction of IP-based data networks in the early 1990s and then with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the late 1990s, and it now includes all forms ofvoice, video, and messaging communications.

Building a Secure and Scalable Multimedia IP Exchange

As fixed and mobile operators increasingly move to IP-based networks, the complexity required to interconnect these networks grows dramatically. Faced with increasing competition from all corners and constant challenge to grow revenues, operators are struggling with the variety and disparities in partner and customer networks.

How Carriers Can Optimize for LTE Roaming

Connectivity between mobile network operators (MNO) in 4G LTE is much more complex than it was in legacy networks.This complexity is primarily due to the change in focus. LTE is not a voice-focused roaming environment, but rather a datacentric environment.

Featured Case Studies

CASE STUDY: Real Time Communications Made Easy Via The Mobile Web

HubRTC offers the world's first WebRTC communication as a service to small and medium businesses, combining browser-based voice, video and messaging over WiFi that works on personal computers and Android smartphones and tablets. Their basic and premium solutions work with existing PBX applications servers, and support rich feature sets including voice mail and visual voice mail, audio and video conferencing, all for a fraction of the cost of old fashioned "phone systems." They have combined their Real Time Communications experts with software, devices and accessories, and cloud platforms to deliver a true office-on-the-run.

CASE STUDY: TW Telecom Accelerates Market Adoption of SIP Trunking Services

tw telecom is one of the top three largest providers of Business Ethernet in the US, connecting approximately 20,000 commercial buildings and third-party data centers to its national fiber network.

CASE STUDY: Embedding Real-Time Communications Into Digital Interactive Publishing Platforms

X-Factor Communications (XFC) is a premium provider of easy-to-use, interactive digital media software and services delivering single point publishing of Mass Notifications, advisories, emergency messages, rich informational content and advertising to any connected device.

Featured Webinars

WebRTC Applications for Service Providers using GENBAND'S SPiDR Gateway

GENBAND's SPiDR WebRTC Gateway provides an intelligent bridge between SIP/IMS based VoIP networks and the open ecosystem of the Internet. WebRTC holds great promise to revolutionize the nature of our daily communications. But what should you, as a service provider, be doing today to take advantage of this movement?

Best Practices in Deploying Hosted IP Telephony

Speaker: Sara Hughes and Mitch Layman

LTE, How Can You Accelerate The Payback? Diameter Signaling Controller

Speaker: Ashish Jain - Director Solutions Marketing