Community holds its most successful drive to date for Toys for Tots
TINTON FALLS, NJ – The people who live and work at Seabrook have really big hearts. In one month, they collected two-and-a-half flatbeds full of toys and two large bags full of stuffed animals for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
Three years ago, Seabrook resident June Bayles brought the idea to collect toys for Toys for Tots to Seabrook and got the community started in its collection efforts. This year, resident Betty Lovanyak facilitated contact with the Marines and invited them to pick up all of the fabulous stuffed animals, football and baseball helmets, Barbie dolls, board games, educational toys, dolls, costume jewelry, dress-up clothes and tiaras, etc. There were even make-up kits and other thoughtful items for older children. All of the toys collected were distributed to children living in Tinton Falls, Neptune, and Asbury Park, New Jersey.
“The Marines and I were overwhelmed with the generosity displayed by the residents,” said Ann Marie Matthews, gift planning coordinator in the office of philanthropy at Seabrook. “The Marines who came and collected the toys said that this was the most successful Seabrook toy drive ever.”
“This was a great community-wide effort that demonstrated the level of generosity among our residents and staff and was a great way for Seabrook to give back to those who are less fortunate,” added Matthews.
According to their website, the mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders. (Jackie Schatell)