Editor: In 1947, a group of Marines recognized a need in this country and found a way to fill it—Toys for Tots. The program’s main purpose is to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s less fortunate children.” Receiving the gift of a shiny, new toy (something many take for granted) can make a tremendous difference in a child’s life.
In a normal year, Toys for Tots toy collection boxes would be in place in lobbies of businesses throughout the county. Loudoun County fire stations would be main toy drop-off locations for the general public, and more than 300 volunteers would be in our warehouse sorting, counting, packing and distributing toys. Due to the pandemic, however, the Loudoun County Toys for Tots, coordinated by Loudoun County Marine Corps League Detachment 1205, conducted the 2021 program in a manner that would make it safe for all involved and still provide toys to children in need.
To fulfill our mission of providing toys to children, we partnered with five nonprofit organizations: Community Empowerment of Northern Virginia, Help for Others, LINK, Mobile Hope, and The Salvation Army. We channeled 25-30 nonprofit organizations that we normally provide toys to individually, through the above nonprofits.
Each of the five organizations provided us with the number of children registered with them to receive toys, and thanks to the generous monetary donations from the community and businesses, we were able to purchase the toys that were needed and provide them directly to the nonprofit organizations for distribution to the families.
We are very grateful for events benefiting Toys for Tots, which were sponsored by the following local businesses and organizations: American Shine Detailing, Century 21 Redwood Realty, Lamborghini/McLaren/Rolls-Royce Motorcars of Sterling, The Loudoun Kitchen and Bar, Loudoun Symphonic Winds, Noble Athletics and Radio Redline.
A special thank you goes out to AFCEA, Century 21 Redwood Realty, Falcons Landing, Loudoun County Fire Companies, Pegasystems, and Yahoo for helping us shop for toys.
In addition, we thank Interstate Moving & Storage for providing a place to store our warehouse equipment.
We are already planning for our next season. For more information, please visit loudoumarines.org after Oct. 1.
Frank Holtz, Coordinator
Loudoun County Toys for Tots