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Christmas toy drive nears

September 17, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

The Bulldog Detachment of the Marine Corps League collected enough toys to help give more than 1,500 underprivileged children in Washington County a Merry Christmas last year.

That kind of success doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen without a lot of community support and careful planning, according to David Danfelt of the local detachment.

This year, Toys for Tots is aiming to collect more toys than ever, Danfelt said.

Boxes for toys and jars for monetary donations will go out in early October to businesses, organizations and private clubs to support Toys for Tots.

Toys for Tots has been a Marine Corps Reserve project nationwide for more than 56 years. It began operating in Washington County in 1997, Danfelt said.


Making sure that every child has at least one toy under the tree at Christmas is the group's goal, said Philip Stotelmyer, drive organizer again this year.

Toys are donated or purchased with money that is donated. Organizers encourage churches, civic groups, scouts and others to support the effort.

The plan is for the toys to be distributed about a week before Christmas in an empty storefront at Long Meadow Shopping Center. Parents or other recipients will be required to have a letter from the Washington County Department of Social Services to be eligible.

The children are identified through schools, social service agencies, food banks and churches.

Anyone wishing more information on how to donate to Toys for Tots or who needs toys picked up may call Stotelmyer at 301-790-0296 or Danfelt at 301-223-7380.

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