Local Marines' mission: Lots of toys for Christmas
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 3, 2012 1:46 PM
Donald Peters, a member of the Marine Corps League's Waynesborough Detachment, retrieves donations from one of the many Toys For Tots boxes that have been placed inside establishments across the county. Donations for the toy drive are being accepted through Dec. 15, and all gifts that are received will be disbursed to needy Wayne County children.
They have served their country for decades -- on battlefields from Vietnam to Afghanistan.
But members of the Marine Corps League's Waynesborough Detachment are shifting their focus to their home county for the next several weeks -- hoping to pull off a decisive victory for those who, without a little help, might go without on Christmas morning.
The organization's Toys For Tots campaign has already resulted in dozens of boxes filled with gifts.
And with a little help from their neighbors, those running the decades-old program are hopeful that hundreds of Wayne County children will have a holiday to remember.
Donald Peters, the man in charge of the campaign, said he has been pleasantly surprised by the number of donations that have already been made to the local MCL's first Toys For Tots drive.
"This is our first year, so we were really not sure what to expect, but I just get amazed every time I go by someplace and see the whole box filled up," he said. "It's just amazing. I'm hoping we can help a lot of families this year."
Those who wish to participate can drop a new, unopened toy or book in one of the boxes located across the county -- at Walmart, Big Lots, the American Legion, Walgreens and various car dealerships.
"I've got boxes all over town," Peters said. "We'll take anything that's new and unwrapped."
And anything, no matter how extravagant, can make a huge difference for those on the receiving end.
"All the toys we collect stay right here in Wayne County. They go to the kids here," Peters said. "That's why I'm doing this."
Created in 1947 and adopted by the Marine Corps a year later, Toys For Tots has raised millions of Christmas gifts for needy children since its inception.
According to the organization, last year, "despite the continued sluggish economy and a reduced materiel and manpower capability of the Reserves," the drive realized its "greatest revenue ever" at $252 million and distributed nearly 16 million toys to more than 7 million children.