CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The community has come together to make sure thousands of local children have a memorable holiday season. Our 22News lobby is filled with thousands of toys, stuffed animals, and bicycles on the final day of our annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign.
“This is an experience, I’ll tell you that much,” Cpl Jaylen Campbell laughed. “It’s a lot of toys, a lot of people you meet, a lot of people that are very generous that decide to donate so it’s nice.”
The Marines have been hard at work since October, but now it’s crunch time. 22News went to the Toys for Tots warehouse Monday to see what happens with the toys you donated after they leave our lobby.
Sgt. Brandon Amarahale told 22News once the toys are brought to the warehouse, the Marines sort them by age and gender.
“Once they are separated, we get a count and update the board so we have all our numbers up to date so we know if we can support certain events or not,” he explained. “And then after we have the counts updated it comes down to filing nonprofits and individual families requests.”
This year, the Marines have nearly 73,000 local families to support. That’s triple the amount from last year!
Toys for Tots is a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program with a mission to collect new, unwrapped toys to distribute as Christmas gifts to the less fortunate children in the community.
Before the toys go from our lobby to children in need, they come here to the Toys for Tots warehouse! The Marines are hard at work sorting and packing up toys like Santa’s elves! pic.twitter.com/tOPIONTZGt— Monica Ricci (@MonicaWWLP) December 16, 2019