Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Toys for Tots 2009 Kicks Off

The opening ceremonies for the Toys for Tots Program were kicked off at Camp Foster, Okinawa and at Kendena Air Base. Toys for Tots is a program that was adopted in 1946 by the Marine Corps Reserve. It is a program where people donate toys to be distributed to children in need by Christmas. The Toys for Tots coordinator for the 2009 Okinawa campaign, Gunnery Sgt. Suzette S Smith, says, "This is one of the few campaigns the Marine Corps is known for, not only is the military showing goodwill to the community, it is increasing the Marine Corps' visibility and recognition." With the widespread participation of Toys for Tots all the way across the United States, the program has become very successful. Last year the Okinawa campaign raised over 13000 toys, 3,000 more toys than the goal. Smith says that this year the goal is to greatly surpass last years 13,000 mark. The majority of the collection boxes are located in all the base exchanges, chapels, personal service centers on all the service’s bases on Okinawa. The program is also planned to kick off this year on bases in the United States soon. The collection boxes are not limited to military bases. There will be many locations around municipal parts of towns all over America. There is a need for a lot of volunteers to run the collection centers. "We need lots and lots of volunteers to help with collection boxes, warehousing and the special events. We take toys for ages zero to 18 but are especially needy for toys for the older kids" said Cpl. Shivali Sharma, a volunteer coordinator for the campaign from the Reserve Liaison Office. Any service member can volunteer but Marines must wear their dress blues and other service must wear their equivalent. Any toy that is donated must be unwrapped and new. Participation in the program with be greatly appreciated. Click Here for the Full Story

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