It’s summer. Folks are wearing shorts, tank tops, bathing suits, and flip flops. They are swimming, playing outdoors, and going to the beach. They are cleaning air conditioner filters and purchasing new school supplies. And some are collecting for Toys For Tots.
Confused? Don’t be. Toys For Tots clearly has it’s hey-day in December, in the weeks leading to Christmas. But this charity works year-round to ensure that every child in the area can HAVE a Christmas each year.
It is the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve that runs the Toys for Tots Program, and their mission is to collect unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The idea is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. It also offers a means for all of us to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children, to unite all members of local communities in a common cause, to contribute to better communities in the future, and, well . . . . . to make children happy and able to believe in the magic of Christmas. Check out the website at ToysForTots
While the primary Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in various communities, local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of fund-raising activities throughout the year. These include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and raise toy collections and monetary donations.
Our local Toys For Tots Program is run out of Edison, at 1945 Oak Tree Road in Devine’s Plaza. You can check out their Facebook page at CentralNJToysForTots . They are sponsoring a 5K run on Thursday, August 1st, at 7:00 PM (perfect for those who work during the day and want to get in a little evening exercise!), right in nearby Colonia. (Starting point is at 400 Inman Avenue, at the Evergreen Center). Online registration can be done at Active.com , or at RaceForum.com . There are also drop-off locations for new, unwapped toys at 549 and at 622 Inman Avenue.
This is a great way to still enjoy the outdoor advantages of summer, while looking ahead to helping out others at Christmastime. Because we need a little Christmas. Right this very minute. (Sorry. I’ll stop singing now.)