January 13, 2015 --
Nearly 4,500 children throughout Southwest Georgia had a better Christmas thanks to the 2014 Toys for Tots program, reported Gunnery Sgt. Johnny Ruby, coordinator, Toys for Tots.
“During the 2014 campaign, 17,325 toys were collected and $6,500 was donated to the cause,” Ruby said. “Thanks to the outpouring of support from the local community and surrounding counties, we had enough toys to give about five per child."
About 125 Marine reservists and 40 volunteers, including active-duty Marines, Sailors and their families, civilian employees and contractors worked together throughout the campaign to brighten a child’s Christmas, according to Ruby.
The Toys for Tots coordinator said the reservists participated in 20 events throughout the campaign including a golf tournament, Albany’s Celebration of Lights Parade and a ‘Stuff the Truck’ event at the Albany Mall.
Carrying out the Toys for Tots initiative, which began in 1947, Marine reservists from Detachment 2, Supply Company, Combat Logistics Battalion- 453, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve, put on their dress blue uniforms and collected toys from hundreds of drop boxes distributed in Albany and throughout the surrounding area.
Since its inception, the Toys for Tots national campaign distributed 476 million toys to 223 million less fortunate children, according to its 2013 Annual Report.
In 2013, Marine reservists and volunteers distributed more than 16.8 million toys to more than 7 million less fortunate children, according to the report.
The Toys for Tots program is the largest outreach program in the Department of Defense.
Plans for the 2015 Toys for Tots campaign are underway.