Despite COVID, Toys for Tots remains committed to its mission

Marines from MCB Camp Blaz delivered toy collection boxes to participating organizations and businesses. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit charity with a 74-year history. (USMC file photo)

Toys For Tots is making sure kids in need will have Christmas gifts this year, despite the pandemic.

Coordinated and organized by the US Marine Corps, the Toys for Toys campaign has been serving Guam for 11 years (6 years in the CNMI), delivering toy collection boxes to participating organizations and businesses and, of course, providing brand new toys donated by the island community.

Toys for Tots Assistant Coordinator Staff Sgt. John Ewald and Overall Coordinator Capt. Anthony Ramos went on air with K57’s Patti Arroyo, acknowledging that with the struggles the island is facing, they intend to honor their commitment more than ever to help families in need during the holiday season.

“So obviously, the collection has been hugely impacted by COVID. But thankfully, the Toys for Tots Foundation has been very generous. So far, they’ve given us about $8,000 for us to spend locally on toys and they’re going to stay local and they have a secondary program which we’re about to reach out to see if there’s more money we can spend locally to make up for those toys that may not be coming in as they usually do,” Ewald said.

Capt. Anthony Ramos, Toys for Tots overall coordinator, said: “It goes without saying, we’ll take any and all toys specifically, like Cathy (Catherine Castro, President of the Chamber of Commerce) was saying, these are very sensitive times for a lot of people and we’re just very appreciative and we’re very grateful for anyone’s help and everyone one’s support.”

This is the 2nd year that the Guam and CNMI chapters were given monetary supplements to purchase toys, according to Staff Sgt. Ewald

If you would like to participate and donate to Toys for Tots, just drop a newly purchased, unwrapped toy to one of the many businesses or organizations who have volunteered as drop-off locations.

Clothes, food, or weapon-related toys will not be accepted.