ROCKINGHAM – It’s not too late to help deliver a message of hope and joy to those less fortunate children in our community at Christmas. Collections for the well-known Toys for Tots foundation will take place through the second week in December with many drop-off locations in Richmond County.
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity, is the authorized fundraising and support organization for the Toys for Tots program.
The Toys for Tots foundation entertains a long history. In 1947, Major Bill Hendricks, United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR), founded Toys for Tots, and in 1948, the United States Marine Corps adopted and expanded the program into a nationwide community action project. It is interesting to note that Walt Disney designed the first Toys for Tots train logo and created the first national poster for the program.
The mission of this Foundation is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community.
According to its website, the organization’s objective is to play an active role in the development of one of the nation’s most valuable resources – its children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities for the future.
“Families in Richmond County should go through the Department of Social Services (DSS) to qualify for receiving toys,” said Wayne Crank, commandant for the local Marine Corps League Detachment 1252, Richmond Leathernecks.
“We collected funds that have been raised from the programs we’ve had and through various donations,” Crank added. “We group and give four toys to each child. We take that back to DSS and they distribute the toys to the families for Christmas.”
While Toys for Tots coordinators organize, coordinate and manage the campaign, the ultimate success of the drive depends on the support of the local community and the generosity of the people who donate toys.
Local business leaders play a key role in allowing drop-off and collection boxes in/at their stores. Members of the community then drop new, unwrapped toys in the collection boxes.
“We have at least 50 or 60 collection sites in the community, most of them are churches or businesses,” Crank explained.
For assistance in locating a donation site or contributing monetarily, visit Dobbins Insurance Company at 315 South Long Drive, Rockingham, or call 910-997-6231.
If interested in learning more, or becoming involved, visit the Marine Corps League Detachment 1252, at https://www.facebook.com/det1252mcl/.