Toys For Tots Makes Christmas Merrier

. December 1, 2017.
toys-for-tots

Semper Fidelis or Semper Fi is the motto of the United States Marine Corps, meaning ever faithful. And, what more faithful and compassionate mission can there be than to help children?
Toys for Tots (TFT), a program of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, was founded in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks, in Los Angeles. In the following years, the program expanded into a nationwide community action project.

One local hero helping to make Christmas merrier for children in six Ohio counties is Staff Sargeant Daniel G. Stoll II, 31, stationed at Weapons Company 124 in Perrysburg, Ohio. Stoll, a Marine for 13 years and the coordinator of our area’s TFT for three years, explains that “the program has been active in this area over the past 50 years.”

Stoll coordinates “six counties in Northwest Ohio and that gets us to about 10,000 kids.” They average four to five gifts per child “depending on the age group and TFT provides gift items for anybody between 3 and 9 years old.” He said the most difficult children to buy for are the “ages under 3 and teenagers.”

Coordinating with
The Salvation Army

One of the TFT collaborators in the distribution of toys in Lucas, Ottawa, Wood, Henry and Fulton counties is the Salvation Army (SA). The SA coordinator, Major Scott Kelly, is located at 620 N. Erie St., Toledo. Major Kelly, with the SA for 30 years and helping TFT for two years, said TFT “don’t necessarily take applications, because the Marines don’t have a system set up, that’s why they partner with us.” Major Kelly said that last year the SA helped 3,419 families and distributed 44,000 toys.”

Maureen (Mo) Saponari, Salvation Army’s Director of Social Services in Ottawa County, in Port Clinton, said the SA “ focuses on giving toys worth under $25.” She finds the basic toys are still popular as little girls still love dolls and boys love matchbox cars. But the organization does try “to focus on hands-on toys and games.”

Though TOYS is the keyword in TFT, Staff Sgt. Stoll emphasized the need for monetary donations because “a lot of people see TFT and see a box in Toys “R” Us and say, ‘I’m going to donate’ and what they see in their mind is a 5, 6, 7, or 8-year-old little boy or girl – so they buy a car or Barbie doll.” By donating money in lieu of toys, TFT, a non-profit organization, is able “to go to local businesses and spend the money on the necessary items we need to fill the gaps. Sometimes we have so much for the middle age group and so little for the other ones.” Toy bins are located at many businesses throughout Northwest Ohio.

To make a monetary donation, contact Staff Sgt. Stoll at Daniel.stoll@usmc.mil or visit https://www.toysfortots.org/.

Trending

Puppy Love: Volunteer to Help Service Dogs

There is a volunteer opportunity for dog lovers just waiting to unleash some of their free time. ADAI (Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence) is supported locally by The Ability Center to help people with disabilities. This is an opportunity for community members who love puppies (who doesn’t?) and who want to lend a helping hand.

Spring into Health

Winter seemed to last forever. Some of us didn’t stick to our healthy routines over the cold months. It’s time to come out of hibernation and Spring Into Health! We talked to some of the top, local health experts. They answered some questions about their area of specialty and gave some healthy advice, too. Sarah

Broaden Your Horizens

Three Toledoans fulfill passions with their hobbies Life sometimes makes it difficult to find time for yourself. With family, work and other responsibilities, a hobby often doesn’t seem possible. Retirement is the perfect time to explore activities that you might have only thought about fleetingly in years past. If you are looking to slow down

Making Money, Post-Retirement

Interview with three people who are viewing their retirement as an end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one.