On Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:30 a.m., the Massachusetts State Police and members of the United States Marine Corps Reserve hosted a media event and toy drive at the State Police South Boston Barracks to promote the 61 th Annual United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program. The Toys for Tots Program collects toys each year during the holiday season and distributes them as Christmas gifts to needy children.
Toys for Tots needs help more than ever to achieve its goal of delivering, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy children that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive and patriotic citizens. Last year, in a healthy economy, the Toys for Tots program fell short of its donation goals by a significant amount. Unfortunately, the current economic downturn has simultaneously left more Massachusetts families in need of toys for their children, and has resulted in a 50 percent decrease in toy donations from this time last year. The State Police and the Marine
At the event, Colonel Mark Delaney of the State Police stated, "Once again the Massachusetts State Police is proud to partner with the United States Marine Corps during their Toys for Tots Program. During these difficult economic times, it is important to take measure of our blessings and give to those who are less fortunate. Please assist us by dropping off a toy at our State Police Barracks, so that every child will experience the joy of this holiday season." Master Sergeant Ron Johnson of the United States Marine Corps thanked the Massachusetts State Police for its continued support for Toys for Tots but highlighted this year's need for donations by stating, "At this point, donations are significantly down compared to last year and we strongly encourage members of the public to assist the less fortunate during this holiday season." Program Coordinator Shakeerah McLeod of Transitions at Devens thanked the Marine Corps for its donation and continued support, stating that the toys will "help our program ensure a Merry Christmas for all 23 children currently living at Transitions at Devens."
Individuals looking for more information on how they can contribute to Toys for Tots may visit the program's website at www.toysfortots.org.