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Friday Focus: Toys for Tots

By Monica Meinert • November 29, 2013

toys for tots logo
Each year, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program works to brighten the lives of less fortunate children throughout the United States with its annual toy drive. From October to December, the organization works with local communities to accept donations of new toys to be distributed at Christmas time. Their mission is simple: to deliver a message of hope to one of the nation’s most valuable resources—its children. This week, Friday Focus talked with Staff Sergeant Brett Wagner, a coordinator from King George County, VA, who shared some information about the organization and one particularly special instance of how Toys for Tots was able to touch a family in need.

Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
A: The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
A: I was very touched when we were able to support a family that just lost their house due to a fire two days before Christmas, but there are a few stories that are similar that happen almost every year.

Q: What is your biggest challenge?
A: Getting toys early in the campaign season. A lot of people tend to wait until closer to Christmas to begin their shopping, but we need to get the toys to the families as soon as we can.

Q: How can people get involved this holiday season?
A: There are many ways to support the program. Volunteering in the warehouse and donations are the primary things that come to mind.

Want to make the holiday season brighter for a child in your community? Our St. Mary’s, Calvert and King George branches are currently accepting donations on behalf of Toys for Tots (all Charles County donations will support the Children’s Aid Society).