MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
The 2010 Toys for Tots program at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany officially started its campaign, Oct. 21, and a kickoff at the Albany Mall followed Friday. Since that time, donations have trickled in slowly, causing concern for 1st Sgt. James Watson, Toys for Tots coordinator.
“This year Toys for Tots is off to a really slow start and we are asking that individuals step forward to help make Christmas merrier for a needy child,” he said. “Last year at this time we had collected more than 5,000 toys, but this year, we have not (yet) reached 1,000.”
Watson noted the past few years have been tough for a lot of people because of the economy, but it is important for the community to come together to help the hundreds of children counting on toys.
“It is great to see children at Christmas with smiles on their faces when they see gifts under the tree. It is even more important this year when children see their families having a hard time,” Watson said. “I’m asking the community to drop off donations at one of the many gift boxes around town or on base. We would like for every child to receive two or three toys each.”
The need for toys for girls, ages 9 through 12 is greater, but toy collections are for all children up to age 12, he added. All toys collected are distributed locally and all monetary donations received will be used to purchase toys from local retailers.
“All of the sign-ups for families receiving toys have been completed by the Salvation Army. Letters will be sent out to the families of nearly 1,800 children in a few days and we will distribute all of the toys on December 18,” he said. “We will be collecting new and unwrapped toys up until December 17. If anyone is willing to have a Christmas party or toy drive, Marines will be available to come out and collect toys.”
For more information on how to help Toys for Tots or to request a donation box, call Watson or Cpl. Jasmine Jackson at (229) 869-6442.
To make an online donation, log on to Web site www.toysfortots.org.
Toy donations can be made at the following:
On base: Buildings 1121, 3500, 3700, Marine Corps Exchange, Navy Federal Credit Union.
Off base: Walmart, Target, Chick-fil-A in the Albany Mall, area golf courses, American Legions Post 512 and 30, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Marine Corps League, Georgia State Patrol and other area churches and locations.