CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 22News Toys for Tots drive will be a little different this year.

Last year, our the 22News lobby was stuffed with thousands of toys donated by you, our loyal viewers, and then distributed to children all over western Massachusetts. It was the culmination of a two week toy drive and a tradition that began here at 22News in 1997, originally started by a U.S. Marine and his family in California back in 1947.

Over the years, our 22News Toys for Tots drive has collected well over a million toys for local kids to enjoy during the holidays.

This year, we want to take every precaution to keep our viewers, our local Marines and our staff safe. So, we will not be collecting toys at our 22News studios this year. However, we still want to keep our annual Toys for Tots tradition going.

We’re asking our viewers to make a monetary donation to our local western Massachusetts Toys for Tots program or use the online gift registry. Toys may be viewed and purchased through the registry. These toys will then be delivered to our local Marines for distribution.

The monetary contributions will also be used by our local Marines to purchase and distribute the toys. All donations are used to purchase toys for children in need in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties.

Even though we are dealing with the pandemic, you can still make a difference for local kids during the Holidays in 2020.