Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Burglars at a Toys for Tots Distribution center on Monday night stole several remote-controlled helicopters destined for 11-12 year old boys. A volunteer noticed that the toys were missing on Tuesday morning.
“Just bring them back. Put them on the steps, no questions asked. We’d just like to get them back and make sure these toys get to the kids they’re intended for.” Marine Corps Reserve Master Sgt. Ryan Leach
Grinches are always trying to steal at the Christmas season. The problem with the helicopters that were stolen is that the Toys for Tots campaign footed the bill for them because that age group is always one of the most difficult to buy for. They referred to the use of cash for the helicopters as a “splurge.” People who make donations of toys generally don’t buy for those ages.
“You hate to think that people of good will have given toys to the Marines to make sure we get them to the kids, and that someone would come here and try to take toys from kids around Christmas…We’re hopeful we can turn a bad thing into something good and get the word out that we’re still accepting donations. We’re sure the community will help us ensure that all these kids have a good Christmas.” MSgt Ryan Leach
Toys for Tots is a program run by the Marine Corps Reserve to help needy children have something for Christmas. It was first founded in California in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks. By 1948 the program was officially adopted by the Marine Corps Reserve, and by 1949 celebrities began to endorse it. The Toys for Tots Foundation is listed as a top charity and accredited by the BBB Giving Alliance. They collect literally millions of toys every year.
The Alabama Marines Foundation hopes to give out toys to 2,000 children in 960 families this Christmas. Now that an entire segment of their toys has been decimated, they are believing that the Spirit of Christmas giving will revive the program in time for the dispersal. The link to their donation page is here.