Toys for Tots kicks off 2013 campaign

ALBANY —Officials at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany announced Tuesday that the 2013 U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program has officially kicked off its annual campaign to collect new, unwrapped toys for less fortunate children in the community.

The primary goal of the Toys for Tots program, officials say, 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 and patriotic citizens.

The 2012 regional campaign resulted in 15,000 toys collected, while $5,000 was donated to the cause. The program helped approximately 3,400 children in the area, officials say.

Area families can sign up to receive toys at the Albany Salvation Army at 304 W. Second Ave. between Oct. 21 – Oct. 28. The toy distribution for approved families will take place at the former Belk building at 144 W. Broad Ave. on Dec. 15.

For more information on Toys for Tots or how to contribute, contact the program’s coordinator, Gunnery Sgt. Ernest Thompson, at ernest.thompson1@usmc.mil or (229) 639-5475, or Gunnery Sgt. Johnny Ruby, the assistant coordinator, at johnny.ruby@usmc.mil or (229) 639-8787.

Certain documentation is generally required from families wishing to sign their children up. Information on those requirements and how to sign up can be obtained by calling the Salvation Army at (229) 435-1428.