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story.lead_photo.caption <p>Democrat photo/Austin Hornbostel</p><p>Representatives with Cargill, including California Area Chamber of Commerce President Blake Howard, presented Moniteau County Toys for Tots Program Coordinator Dan Mesey with a $500 donation Nov. 6.</p>

With the holidays approaching, Toys for Tots has placed donation boxes at businesses around Moniteau County, where the public can donate toys for the charity.

The majority of donation boxes are located in California, with an additional two set up in Jamestown. Only new toys in original wrapping are accepted for health reasons. The last day donations will be accepted is Dec. 6. Boxes will be picked up the week of Dec. 9 so toys can be sorted by age and gender before distribution.

Toy distribution is scheduled for 1-4 p.m. Dec. 14 at Tipton Cowboy Church, 70011 Hwy 50 East, Tipton.

In California, boxes are located at Burgher Haus, Bond Pharmacy, Central Bank, Commerce Bank, Dollar General, Farm Bureau Insurance, Hawthorn Bank, Hogan Trucking, Orscheln Farm & Home and Peoples Bank of Moniteau County.

In Jamestown, boxes are located at Advanced Chimney and Peoples Bank.

This Christmas, 330 children in Moniteau County are on the list to receive toys. The deadline to apply for toys has passed. Of the toys given to needy children by Toys for Tots, approximately one third are gathered from local donations from individuals at donation boxes, one third are provided free to Moniteau County by the National Toys for Tots Foundation and one third are purchased tax-free in wholesale by Moniteau County Toys for Tots using local monetary donations.

Only six businesses and individuals have made monetary contributions this year — a drop from last year's 24 deposits, Moniteau County Toys for Tots Coordinator Dan Mesey said. Mesey said there is some concern because the National Toys for Tots Foundation bases its contribution on the amount of support from the community.

Those interested in making a tax deductible contribution can send a check made out to Moniteau County Toys for Tots to Dan Mesey at 3819 Hwy O, California, 65018. Mesey can be reached by phone at 660-427-5645.

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