MOUNT VERNON — Though fewer families are registering this year for the Skagit Valley Herald Christmas Fund, the annual program is in need of more donations and volunteers.

The fund provides toys, books and holiday meals to families in need throughout the county, said fund Administrator Lynn Postler.

Last year, Postler said the fund helped buy toys, books, and meals for 1,741 families — including 4,866 children — countywide.

With one week to go until the Dec. 6 registration deadline, she said this year registration has been a bit slower. She said she expects about 1,650 families will sign up.

As is the case every year, she said the fund is in need of toys for older children and teens.

“(Ages) 10-17 is always the hardest,” she said. “It’s easier to shop for the younger kids.”

She suggested things such as basketballs, Nerf guns, jewelry or makeup.

Families that wish to register for the Christmas Fund can call (360) 419-7182 or the Spanish line at (360) 419-7182 between 1 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Dec. 6.

Families can register in person at the Skagit County Fairgrounds, 1410 Virginia St., Mount Vernon, until Dec. 13, Postler said.

“We don’t close the doors to anybody,” she said.

Donations are accepted at the fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Postler said.

Postler said volunteers are needed to put together and hand out gift bags. Distribution is set for Dec. 11-12.

Those interested in volunteering can call (360) 419-7263.

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