Ways to Donate to U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program
AFCEA DC Winter Gala Raises the Bar on Toys for Tots Goals
The holiday season is all about giving and it is never too soon to think about giving back to our community. The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Washington, DC chapter prides itself on the commitment to give back to the community that has given so much to it. AFCEA Washington, DC is hosting its 42nd annual Winter Gala on Thursday, December 14 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The tradition isn’t with the event itself, but with the collection of unwrapped toy donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Program. The Winter Gala attendees, a combination of 900 government, military and industry senior executives primarily from the federal IT community, have generously donated goodies for less fortunate children. In truth, part of the enjoyment of the event is viewing the two massive sleighs overfilled with toys, as if ready for delivery by the man in red himself. In 2016, a Penske truck was packed with almost 50 boxes of new toys for wishful children.
However, this year, two sleighs is not going to cut it. AFCEA Washington, DC is pushing attendees and sponsors to give more than ever before. “We’re promoting the 2017 Winter Gala as the biggest and best gala yet, and that doesn’t exclude our charitable contributions,” said Anthony Robbins, the Winter Gala chairman. “We want to make a sizable impact on our community and give a record number of toys to Marine Corps Reserves.”
"Toys for Tots presents a special opportunity for Marines to serve alongside various volunteers and organizations from across our local community to ensure a Merry Christmas for underprivileged families throughout the area. Last year's Washington, DC Toys for Tots campaign was an incredible philanthropic endeavor and enabled my Marines to directly support more than 8800 children, as well as six local non-profit organizations and two local children's hospitals," exclaimed LtCol Shane A. Donahue, Site Commander, Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Washington, DC. "As we begin our 2017 campaign, I want to encourage the greater DC community to rally around this wonderful cause and assist my Marines in making this yet another remarkable year," he added.
The goal is to fill three military cargo trucks, commonly known as Deuce and a Halves, with toys. Not only are they pushing donation objectives for the night of the event, but AFCEA Washington, DC is starting the collection early. Winter Gala sponsors and AFCEA Washington, DC Board of Director members will receive branded Toys for Tots boxes to publicly display in their offices and encourage donations from their colleagues. The chapter also wants social media to capture the collection and stir competition among companies, using the hashtag #WGToys4Tots and tagging @AFCEADC.
Besides traditional toy donation, AFCEA Washington, DC is also making it easier for donations by opening an online Toys for Tots portal for monetary donations and creating a wish list of items on Amazon.com. With the click of a button, attendees can make a monetary contribution to Toys for Tots, or ship toy donations, from Amazon, for display at the Winter Gala.
“The Marine Toys for Tots Program collected and distributed 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children in this past year allowing them to experience the joy of Christmas and receive a message of hope that otherwise would not have been there. This community action program took place in 792 communities covering all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.”