Since December is traditionally a time for giving, for this volunteer outing we wanted to do something special and bring a little happiness to those less fortunate. So we set out to help the U.S. Marines count and sort toys for families at the annual Toys for Tots distribution event in Madison. This opportunity helps make an impact on youth, housing, education and more.
This event was important because the objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.
Leading up to the event, we held a drive for toys for CUNA employees and filled up more than two boxes, which was awesome!
At the event, we broke up into two groups. While we were there, the Marines were actively distributing toys to families, so a few of us were in the room with the pre-sorted toys in numbered black bags. How it worked was the Marines outside with the families radioed to the Marines with the toys the family’s number. We found the toys and either gave them to a Marine to run out to the family or we did it ourselves. I spent most of my time doing that and it was wonderful to see how grateful the families were!
The bulk of the group sorted toys that were picked up from Toys for Tots bins around the city. And what a great job they did! The first part of the room was filled with the white donation boxes when we arrived and by the time we left, the boxes were broken down and the toys within them were neatly sorted by age and other categories. When I left, a Marine made a comment how happy he was because when he arrived, he saw how much there was to do and we ended up saving them all a lot of work!
It was a great event and if anyone knows how they ended up with 4+ pallets of Taylor Swift posters and t-shirts, I’d love to know.
Yes that’s my reflection taking a picture of the Taylor Swift poster – I had to see what the fuss was about!