I buy for Toys for Tots at Christmas. I don't buy once. I buy any time I'm out doing 'optional' shopping -- you know the kind, where you just figure you'll check out a sale, or you drop by to see what's on clearance. My rule is this: I give a toy for everyone in my family. That's me, my spouse, and my 2 cats. So there's 4 toys to start with.
Then I get a toy or two whenever I shop. Last week I had a big coupon for Kohl's, and the stuffed animals were only $5 to start with. Coupon + early bird discount = 5 stuffed animals for the TFT basket. I figure I've given about 20 toys so far this year. None more than $10 and some sale items that I bought from last year (after Christmas is a great time to buy toys for next year).
I always get a kick out of toy shopping. Of course, I have toys on my desk right now as we speak. Klaatu is waiting to be wound up to walk and my Heinz EZ Squirt stuffed grape jelly bottle is holding the hand puppet I got at my last writing retreat. Ted T. Bear, whom I got at Christimastime when I was 3 years old, has pride of place right next to the Eric Clapton Cool Cat Make-A-Buddy animal my niece gave me. Then there are the stuffed pigs ...
Yep. TFT -- I always give there and to the red bucket ringers. Really. It's the least I can do!