SUMMIT, NJ — Beginning on Friday, Nov. 11, Summit began collecting unwrapped, new toys for Toys for Tots. Donations will be collected all month until Dec. 11. Summit has been involved with Toys for Tots for many years now, and the Summit Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association and the Policemen’s Benevolent Association are partnering with the United States Marine Corps Reserve for the annual holiday toy drive.
“Summit has been involved with the toy drive since 2002,” Police Detective Sergeant Rick Proctor told LocalSource over the phone. “It’s just gotten bigger over the years. The collection initially took place at city hall, and now we have boxes at various locations across the city where people can donate toys. We used to be able to collect all the donations in a pickup truck, but since 2005, we’ve had so many that we needed to borrow a U-Haul truck that was generously donated to us by Arch Sonoco. We hope people will see the boxes and generously donate some toys this holiday season.”
The locations where toys can be donated include the Summit Fire Department, Summit City Hall, Summit Post Office, Summit Community Center, Starbucks, Summit YMCA, Lakeland Bank and Peapack Gladstone Bank. Toys will be dropped off to the Marine Corps Reserve on Dec. 12.
“The toys will be sorted according to age groups by the Marine Corps Reserve and delivered to children across Union County and the surrounding area,” Proctor told LocalSource over the phone.
Last year, Toys for Tots collected and donated 18 million toys to seven million children in the United States, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, according to a Nov. 7 press release from the city of Summit. It’s a great way to help children celebrate the holiday season as well as strengthen the bonds of people in the community during the holiday season.
“Toys for Tots is a great way for people to connect with the community and do something generous during the holidays for deserving children,” Public Information Officer Amy Cairns told LocalSource in an email. “It’s an initiative that the PBA and FMBA rally around each year.”
Toys for Tots is a huge operation that has grown tremendously over the years. Sometimes pickups are even required throughout the month as collection boxes start to fill.
“I might have to make trips out to collect the toys prior to the end of the month as boxes start to get full,” Proctor told LocalSource over the phone. “We usually approach the same places each year for the drop off locations. We welcome anyone that would like to have a drop box at their location to reach out to us and we’d be more than happy to accommodate them. We are pretty much set on the locations for this year.”
The city hopes the toy drive has another successful year. The message of hope that Toys for Tots delivers is worth more than any toy, and this message will resonate with less fortunate children in need of it the most this holiday season.