CHAPEL HILL – The Orange Department of Social Services needs your help for its annual Toy Chest drive running December 14-16.

The program provides an opportunity for low-income parents to select two to three gifts per child with the hope that every child in Orange County has a present to open during the holidays.

Sharron Hinton, DSS Human Services Manager, says that for three days, the DSS office will turn into Santa’s Workshop for the children to enjoy.

“All toys that are donated here stay here in Orange County for our children,” Hinton says. “The Toy Chest has just grown in volumes over the years. Last year we served more than 3,300 children with about 10,000 toys that we collected through the Toy Chest.”

Hinton says there are more than 7,000 children in Orange County living in low-income households.

The Toy Chest serves children age 18 and under but focuses on children under age 12.

Hinton says parents can be referred from Social Services, churches, and other agencies that serve low-income families.

Collection boxes will be placed at various locations throughout Orange County, and the public can drop off donations until Friday, December 13.

“Through our donations from Toys for Tots, we have about 50-75 collection boxes throughout the community. Individuals are encouraged to drop off a toy at any of those collection sites or at our offices here in Hillsborough or the one in Chapel Hill,” Hinton says. “In addition to the toys, we also collect donations for folks who don’t like to shop or don’t know what to purchase. We will accept those donations , and then we will do the shopping for you.”

The DSS office is located next to the Dollar Tree in the Hillsborough Commons shopping center.