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11-25-07, 07:26 AM #1
60,000 kids on Marines' wish list
TOYS FOR TOTS DRIVE
60,000 kids on Marines' wish list
Sunday, November 25, 2007 3:41 AM
By Jeb Phillips
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Where to give and get
These are drop-off and distribution sites for the Toys for Tots program. New, unwrapped toys also can be dropped off at collection boxes around central Ohio.
• Marine Reserve Center, 7221 2nd St. near Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base. Toys will be distributed to organizations from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10 and Dec. 11. Families can receive toys from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. from Dec. 12 through Dec. 14.
• Chillicothe VFW Post 108,
115 E. Main St. Distribution will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 12 and Dec. 13.
At the following posts, toys will
be distributed to families from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 13 and Dec. 14.
• Lancaster VFW Post 1380,
1131 Sugar Grove Rd. SE
• London VFW Post 1176,
139 S. Main St.
• Marysville VFW Post 3320, 15237 Industrial Parkway
• Newark VFW Post 1060,
469 Forrey St.
• Reynoldsburg VFW Post 9473, 1420 Waggoner Rd.
• Sunbury VFW Post 8736,
435 McGill St.
• West Jefferson VFW Post 7005, 1 Veterans Way
In this 60th year of the Toys for Tots campaign, the Marines of Lima Company decided they needed to do more.
The Columbus reservists gave toys to 36,000 children last Christmas, said Gunnery Sgt. Shawn Delgado, the local organizer. But the economy is tough, and many more families need help. The local Marines want to serve 60,000 children this time.
For the past several years -- even when Delgado and much of the company were in Iraq -- Lima Company gave out toys from its reserve center near Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base. The base is a long, expensive drive for many people, considering gas prices, Delgado said. And the toys go only to families who can prove they receive some kind of government assistance -- families that don't have money to spare.
"We need to take this out to the community," he said.
Delgado asked the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which has posts spread throughout central Ohio, to help. For the first time, eight posts, including seven outside of Franklin County, will act as distribution and drop-off points.
That should cut driving time for a lot of families and might relieve some of the crunch at the reserve center. But it introduces a new problem: The Marines need to collect almost twice as many toys as last year. They try to give each child two, so they need 120,000 toys.
"This is a much bigger effort than we've ever tried before," Delgado said.
The Marines have recorded public-service announcements. They have set out at least 350 collection boxes and are always looking for organizations that are willing to host another box. They're looking to the VFW posts to tap their own community resources.
"We're involved in a lot of children's programs," said Russ Foit, commander of Newark Post 1060 at 469 Forrey St., one of the drop-off and distribution centers. "We're glad to do everything we can with this one."
The Marines want only new, unwrapped toys. There usually is a shortage of gifts for teenagers, such as handheld video games and age-appropriate DVDs, so those are especially welcome, Delgado said.
Financial donations make sense, too, because many stores allow the Marines to buy toys at deep discounts. Checks should be made out to Toys for Tots and sent to: Marine Reserve Center, 7221 2nd Street, Columbus, OH 43217.
Toys are being collected now and will be distributed from Dec. 10 to Dec. 15.
To qualify for toys, parents and guardians must bring valid government identification, children's birth certificates and proof of enrollment in a public-assistance program.
For more information, call the Lima Company Marines at 614-492-2990.
11-25-07, 07:28 AM #2
Marines turn out for Toys for Tots duty
Appeal Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 25, 2007
Two active-duty Marines gave their counterparts in the reserves a break and needy children a lift by holding a Toys for Tots drive at two Wal-Mart stores in the area.
Cpl. Daniel Broussard, 20, of Pomona, Calif., and Sgt. Robert Frost, 29, of St. Mary's, Idaho, both stationed at the Bridgeport, Calif., Mountain Retreat, stood tall in their dress uniforms and asked shoppers for help.
"We are helping the reserves," Broussard said. "They are spread pretty thin right now."
They spent the morning at the Wal-Mart on Topsy Lane in Douglas County and in the afternoon went to the Wal-Mart on College Parkway.
Frost said he enjoyed the duty.
"It's a good time," he said. "You meet a lot of new people."
Broussard, though from Southern California, said Bridgeport helped prepare him for the brisk Carson City weather.
"I'm pretty used to it now," he said.
Frost, true to his name, was not bothered by the chill at all, as an Idaho native, he said he was used to worse.
He was also used to tougher duty. Frost has spent 11 years in the Marine Corps, done two tours of duty in Iraq and "at least one everywhere else," he said.
He said when they ask for donations, they get more affirmative responses than negative.
"A lot of people say they will give when they come out," he said. "Some come back and some don't, but most do. Everybody knows this goes for a good cause."
Parents often took their children up to the pair and allowed the kids to put money in the jar, or toys in the box. The kids looked up, wide-eyed at the Marines, who politely thanked them for their donations.
Both men said Toys for Tots duty was among the most rewarding stateside duty they experienced.
"You feel good because you're doing your part for the community," Broussard said.
Marines will seek donations through Dec. 15th at various locations around the area.
You Can Help
Future USMC Toys for Tots drive will be:
• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, at the Nevada State Railroad Museum
• 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 6, at Applebee's, 3300 S. Carson St.
• 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 8, fundraiser at the Harley Davidson Building
• 10 a.m. Dec. 8, fundraiser at the Eagle Valley Golf Course
• 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 15, Starbucks locations in Carson City, Lake Tahoe area and Gardnerville. Free coffee for toy donation.
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