Toys for Tots collecting gifts for annual drive

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    By Justice Ministries
    Special to The PREVIEW
    Christmas is just around the corner. You can help the less fortunate by donating newly purchased toys to the local Toys for Tots campaign. Any kinds of toys will help whether it’s cars, dolls, legos, and even Meccano sets as long as it’s new. It will bring smiles to the less fortunate children and will make their Christmas special.
    Last year, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots program blessed a total of 690 children with over 1,500 gifts in Archuleta County and in Dulce, N.M., with new Christmas toys. We are hoping to reach even more this year.
    You can drop off newly purchased toys at these local sponsors: Goodman’s, Summit, Community United Methodist Church, Restoration Church, Tractor Supply, Walmart, City Market, Dollar General, Riff Raff and Justice Ministries of Pagosa Inc. In addition, Rosie’s and the Pagosa Springs Fire Department are doing community toy drives.
    The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during November and December each year and distribute them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
    The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources — our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.
    The principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located. In communities without a Reserve Unit, the campaign can be conducted by a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally, veteran Marines, authorized by Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign. Tom Audetat, a member of Vets for Vets, is the locally authorized campaign coordinator.
    These coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which may include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations.
    Anyone interested in volunteering during the toy distribution day on Dec. 13, please contact Audetat at 946-1001.