Nearly 400 children served by Toys for Tots
SPRUCE PINE – Multiple fundraising efforts culminated the past few Saturdays when 356 children in Mitchell County received gifts for Christmas through the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
Toys for Tots is organized locally by Marine Corps League 1266 Mt. Mitchell Detachment Sergeant-At-Arms Mark Thomas.
“We get a lot of help and we couldn’t do this without it,” Thomas said. “Not just donations of toys and money, but from a lot of volunteers as well. Every year the program gets bigger and every year we have people who step up, take on more responsibility and do whatever they can to make this happen.”
Collection boxes for toys were placed at the Dollar General stores in Bakersville and on 19E in Spruce Pine, Cruz Thru, KB’s BBQ and Grill, Mitchell House and Walmart. Toy donations were stored in a space on the ground floor of the Cross Street Commerce Center before being distributed to local children up to 17 years old over three Saturdays in December.
The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is collecting new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year and distributing those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community.
The primary goal of Toys for Tots is delivering, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate children that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens.