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Marine Corps League Toys for Tots Program in Jeopardy for the Wiregrass Area

Matt Boster

Viewed: 1795

Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Jun 07 2017 8:48 AM

Toys for Tots, is a national program providing toys for children at Christmas time, administered in the Wiregrass area annually since 2006 by Wiregrass Detachment #752, Marine Corps League. We now need your help to continue this worthwhile program in the Wiregrass Area. We need a secure building in Dothan provided at no cost to house our program. Ideally, we need the space year-round to include using the space as an armed forces building, utilized by other veterans organizations as well.  However, if year-round is not possible, we must have a space to secure our 2017 Toys for Tots program from October 2017 through January 2018. For the past 11 years, thanks to the City of Dothan, we have been able to use a vacant building at no cost.

This facility has provided the Wiregrass Detachment #752, Marine Corps League adequate space to receive, store and distribute toys each year in addition to conducting our monthly membership meetings during our annual campaign. Due to the growth of the Toys for Tots program in our area we have outgrown the available space so we now must find another facility and we must find it ASAP. We can provide a list of the specific requirements and size required to continue this worth-while program in the Wiregrass.

During 2016 we collected and provided toys to over 2600 children in the Wiregrass to the delight of over 1100 families through the 16 various agencies covering five counties we support with the help of Wiregrass 2-1-1. The Wiregrass Marine Corps League has already submitted a request to the National Toys for Tots organization to conduct this worthwhile program again in 2017. However, we cannot proceed without a building. We are hopeful that an individual or organization will be able to help us by providing the space.

The Wiregrass Detachment #752, Marine Corps League is certified as a 501C4, non-profit organization and like many non-profit organizations; we have to rely on local support in order to conduct this worth-while service in the Wiregrass. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions concerning these requirements or know of anyone that may be able to assist us in meeting this need. Mike Walton at 334-618-5292 or Tom Boyle 334-618-8502

Below are stories for ways we have been able to help less fortunate children and families in our local communities during Christmas. This is what Toys for Tots is all about. Please help us to continue providing hope through a shiny new toy.

“One year, a mother and adult daughter came in to fill out an application for Toys for Tots. I handed the daughter the application and showed her where to sit and fill it out. The mother sat down next to me and I told her that it was Ok for her to sit with her daughter. She then proceeded to tell me no, that her daughter was too embarrassed that she had to be there. It seemed her husband just left her for another woman and he took all their money out of the bank and checking accounts and also ran her charge cards to the maximum. They had to move in with her. The mother was on social security only and could not help her daughter or three grandchildren with Christmas.  I told her to tell her daughter that is one of the reasons why we are here. The following year as we were out in front of Walmart collecting toys, she donated money to us and told me this story that she was now back on her feet and how much she appreciated us being there for her in her darkest times.”  (Mike Walton)

“Another year, a young couple got into trouble with the law and were being sent to prison. The mother of one of them was asked if she would take in her four grandchildren. She told the judge that she would but she could barely take care of herself. The judge told her to call 2-1-1 for resources that could help her. Which she did right away.  2-1-1 gave her all the resources she needed to get food, clothing and beds to take her grandchildren in. While they had her on the phone they also signed her up with Toys for Tots. This being an emergency sign up, we took it as a special need, and provided the children with their Christmas dreams and bicycles. His grandmother sent us one of the nicest Thank You cards for us and 2-1-1.  (Mike Walton)

“Two years ago, early one morning two Dothan Policemen came by our facility and told us they had just left a family whose home had just burned to include what toys they had for their children for Christmas and that they were unable to replace them.  We replaced what they lost in the fire and more.”  (Tom Boyle)

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