NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – The Toys For Kids and Teens Campaign, conducted each year by the Blackstone Valley Detachment 911 of the Marine Corps League, needs additional help this year – a place to collect and store the toys.
“The space we were using in Uxbridge as our collection and distribution center, which was donated, is no longer available,’’ said collection organizer, Marine Corps veteran William Audette. Without the space, the League has no place to work from.
“We’re hoping that someone will have a storefront or location that we can use from just after Thanksgiving, to just after Christmas. We need approximately 500 square feet of space to hold all of the toys we collect," Audette said.
The campaign begins on Thanksgiving and ends Christmas Eve.
“Blackstone Valley Detachment 911 of the Marine Corps League has been distributing toys to families in the Blackstone Valley for many years,” Audette said. During the Christmas campaign last year, veterans of the Marine Corps, Army, Navy and Air Force, along with other volunteers distributed about 6,600 toys.
“We served 1,500 families and were also able to supply toys to day care centers, churches, and other agencies and organizations that were in need of toys for the children they serve,” Audette said. The group has many volunteers and a local business man donates the collection boxes.
Northbridge Pools held a Christmas in July event for the Toys For Kids and Teens Campaign, Audette noted, so the group already has a large number of toys that need to be stored.
“What we are trying to do is reach out to the community looking for either a storefront or something similar to conduct the campaign,” Audette said.
About 50 Blackstone Valley businesses place collection boxes in their establishments for the campaign. “We are also fortunate to receive monetary contributions, which are used to insure that kids from age 13 to 16 are taken care of in the form of gift cards,” Audette said.
Anyone interested in donation space are asked to contact Audette at firstname.lastname@example.org or 774-217-0315.