ISU Armed Forces Veterans Club aims to help more than 3,000 children in need this holiday season

POCATELLO — Last year the Idaho State University Armed Forces Veterans Club helped 2,800 children in need and this year it expects to help around 3,000.

Toys for Tots started in 2011 and has been increasingly successful each year. Club volunteers have put in 2,200 hours of their time to give each child a special holiday season.

“The goal is to fill all of the applications and take care of all of the needs of the children in Pocatello and all of the surrounding communities,” said Kale Bergeson, an ISU student veteran.

The application deadline was Nov. 30, but Toys for Tots does what it can to fill the needs of family who have missed the deadlines. They are still accepting applications and will do what they can for those who missed the deadline.

The Armed Forces Veterans Club helps children in towns as far as Shelley. It had to receive special permission from the Toys for Tots Foundation. According to Bergeson, bookkeeping for the project is very meticulous.

“It’s a really cool process when it comes to bagging the toys and separating them out by gender and age,” Bergeson said. “It’s not just a big hodgepodge of toys thrown to random families we try to fulfill their needs the best way we can.”

Donations can be made in the Veteran’s Student Services Center located on the third floor of the Pond Student Union Building. There are currently 2,500 children in need.

“Pocatello is such a great community for supporting people in need. If everyone does a little part, then it leaves less for others to do,” Bergeson said.