Toys for tots, 2011 kickoff

Staff reports

It’s that time of year again.  The U.S. Marine Corps ReserveToys for Tots Program in Ascension Parish will kick off its’ Tenth official campaign this year.  Several events will be held to raise awareness and funds for the children in Ascension parish during this campaign. It’s the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots 64th years of community service.           

With more than 15,000 needy children in Ascension parish, many of who won’t have toys for Christmas, this year’s campaign will hopefully bring toys and funding to help enable the children in the parish to have a brighter Christmas.  Each year, the campaign’s main objective is to change the Marine Corps statistics, through local toy collection campaigns, which begin this month through December 15th.  Toy distribution will take place on December 18th and will end on December 22nd.

     For this year’s 10th Anniversary’s campaign we are asking that all local vendors and companies place a barrel at the door of their establishment our goal is to collect 100 plus toys at each establishment for the “Toys for Tots” Toy Drive throughout Ascension parish.   The target is to collect 5000 new toys with the help and support of the local community.

     “Last year, the program doubled its numbers by helping to provide and distribute toys to over 4,500 children and over 12,500 families, this year, we are looking forward to exceed that number,” said Councilman Oliver Joseph, retired GySgt. U.S. Marine Corps and Ascension parish coordinator for, Toys for Tots.  Councilman Joseph also stated that “The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is dedicated to helping provide toys to needy children, and the ultimate success depends on the support of the local community and the generosity of the people who donate toys, money, and/or time.  All toys collected for the Toys for Tots campaign remain here in Ascension parish.”

     All local businesses in the parish will be sent information regarding the campaign.  Members of the community can drop off new, unwrapped toys in collection boxes positioned at local businesses. An additional toy drop-off location has been added for your convenience.  You can now drop off toys at the following:

·      Dependable Storage-16068 Airline Highway in Prairieville across from the Post Office

·      GSA Inc 1022 Purpera Rd in Gonzales.

·      Donaldsonville Fire Department-700 Lafourche Street in Donaldsonville

·      Ascension Parish Welcome Center-6967 Hwy 22 in Sorrento

·      Donaldsonville Chief- 120 Railroad Avenue, Donaldsonville

·      Gonzales Weekly Citizen- 231 West Cornerview Street, Gonzales

     Drop off times are between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Coordinators will pick up the toys and store them in the central warehouse where the toys are sorted by age and gender.  At Christmas, coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups and other local community agencies, will distribute the toys to the needy children of the community.

     According to Joseph, there are several ways you can assist in the campaign, which include:

·      Making a corporate tax-deductible contribution for the purchase of toys.

·      Permitting the Marine Corps Reserve to use your organization/place of business as a collection point for toys.

·      Encourage employees to donate toys at Christmas parties and

·      Volunteering your time to assist with toy pickups and deliveries.

    All non-profit organizations willing to submit applications for toy distribution must have a completed application in by December 15th.  Businesses and individuals seeking to get involved in this year’s Toys for Tots campaign, they can contact Oliver Joseph at 225-348-0254 or mail to P.O. Box 1065 Donaldsonville, LA 70347.  More information about the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program can be obtained by emailing APC-T4T@Cox.net or ToysForTots.org.  The U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program is a 501 c non-profit agency