Members of the Sgt. Clyde Thomason Medal of Honor Marine Corps League, Detachment 1325, serving Fayette and Coweta, are pleased to announce the start of the 2013 Toys for Tots Drive.
The first Toys for Tots event is the Fayette Toys for Tots Kick-Off Classic, at Starr’s Mill High School on Oct. 18.
Marines and Toys for Tots representatives will be collecting money and toys prior to the game and through halftime of the rivaled Starr’s Mill vs. McIntosh football game. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Marines will recognize and present a trophy award to the school that collects the most money. Last year, McIntosh edged out Starr’s Mill and the total collected was over $1,500.
Toys for Tots began in 1947 in California when a Marine Major attempted to donate a Raggedy Ann doll that his wife handcrafted so that a charitable organization would give it to a child in need.
However, no such charitable organization existed at that time, so he started one with his Marine Reserve unit.
In 1948, the United States Marine Corps Reserve took over the program and has expanded it to the present day nationwide multi-million toy distribution program.
The Fayette Toys for Tots program began four years ago when the local Marine Corps League Detachment 1325 (MCL1325.net) took over responsibility for the collection and distribution in Coweta and Fayette Counties. Previously the program was run by a Marine Corps Reserve Unit that continues to serve the Metro Atlanta area.
The local program has grown from its 2010 inception when it provided toys to 2,800 children. Last year’s 2012 drive provided toys to over 5,000 deserving children in Coweta and Fayette counties.
The toys and money collected are used in Fayette and Coweta counties until the local need is met. The exceptional generosity of businesses and county residents has brought Christmas joy to the children of our fellow residents in need.
Collection boxes will be available in November at local Publix stores, select businesses, fire departments, and city offices.
A list of locations can be found on the website. Marines and volunteers will be collecting toys and donations outside the Fayetteville and Newnan Walmart stores as well as the Fayetteville Toys R Us store and the Peachtree City K-mart. These collection sites will be in effect on Thanksgiving weekend and subsequent weekends through December 15.
Unfortunately, the management at the Peachtree City Walmart has chosen not to participate this year so we are unable to collect donations at this site as we did in previous years. Additional manned collection sites will be posted on our website as they become available Please support our collection efforts and your local merchants at the specified sites.
Assistance and volunteering with the Fayette Toys for Tots program has taken varied forms, whether by serving or giving. Some families have sponsored toy and fund-raising drives at their Christmas or birthday parties.
School classrooms, businesses, and organizations have participated in selling the trademark Toys for Tots paper trains or serving as a designated collection site; and individual or group volunteers have assisted with collecting toys and donations at select storefronts, sorting toys at the warehouse, or transporting toys from the numerous collection boxes at select stores.
An alternative family-fun way to assist is also available. Families can partake in the Christmas spirit by visiting the spectacular Christmas light displays at the Gaddy’s home at 898 Sandy Creek Road, Fayetteville, or “Mr. Christmas Lights” (Mr. Tom Langley) at 201 Felspar Ridge, Peachtree City, and drop off their toy or monetary donations, which support our local Toys for Tots drive.
The success of the Fayette Toys for Tots program is dependent on the support from our community. Marine Corps League members are thankful for the past and continued support from our local churches, businesses, service organizations, scouts, schools, and individuals ranging from elementary age to seniors that come together during the holiday season to take care of our children in need.
We encourage volunteers of any age to join the “few and proud” in assisting this noble cause. Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful. Your Fayette and Coweta Marines of Detachment 1325.
Volunteers can sign up to assist or for more information, please visit online at fayettetoysfortots.com or email Fayettetoysfortots@hotmail.com. Phone inquiries can be made at 678-827-1325.