Marshall and St. Joseph Catholic Grade School in Huntington are teaming with the United States Marine Corp Reserves in supporting a drive to collect toys for needy children in the 2012 Toys for Tots regional campaign.
Monday afternoon at St. Joe, about 80 students in grades K-2 joined Sgt. Victor Arroyo, coordinator of the campaign, and Kelly Sweetman, director of military affairs at Marshall, in a countdown that officially got the campaign under way. It will run through Dec. 7, with distribution to follow. The campaign covers 20 counties – 14 in West Virginia, three in Ohio and three in Kentucky.
Toys for Tots collects new toys to give to children, ages toddler to early teens, who otherwise would do without during the holidays.
“Our goal is 4,000 kids and 15,000 toys,” Arroyo said. “That way each kid receives three toys.”
This is the third consecutive year in which Marshall has teamed with Toys for Tots and St. Joseph in the Toys for Tots campaign. The Marines presented each of the St. Joe students participating in the kickoff with a cup, pencil, ruler and commemorative coin for their hard work the past two holiday seasons.
“It has become something we all look forward to doing each year. This is about community pulling together,” Sweetman said of St. Joe’s participation in the campaign. “The St. Joe kids do a tremendous job each year collecting toys and handing them out.”
Counties included in the campaign are Wayne, Lincoln, Logan, Cabell, Putnam, Kanawha, Mason, Jackson, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Clay, Braxton and Boone in West Virginia; Gallia, Lawrence and Meigs in Ohio; and Boyd, Greenup and Lawrence in Kentucky.
Huntington-area drop-off locations include:
- Huntington, WV Housing Authority Family Resource Center, 2920 Marcum Terrace, Marvin Gray Family Center Gym
- Medicap Pharmacy, 4352 5th St. Rd., Huntington
- Sun Tan City, 2957 5th Ave., Huntington
- Sun Tan City, 360 Diederich Blvd., Ashland, Ky.
- MU Memorial Student Center (beginning Wednesday, Nov. 7)
Arroyo, who was the assistant coordinator last year, will run this year’s campaign out of the Teays Valley reserve unit.
Photo: Cpt. Steven Dodson, left, listens as Sgt. Victor Arroyo, coordinator of the Toys for Tots campaign, talks with St. Joe students about the campaign. Photo by Liu Yang/Marshall University.