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Toys For Tots Collection Spots Set Up

Fifteen of Newtown’s businesses are hosting US Marine Corps Toys For Tots collection bins this holiday season.

Residents are invited to donate a new, unwrapped book or toy for the annual campaign, now in its 66th year. Drop-off of new and unwrapped toys needs to be done regular business hours.

All toys will be collected and distributed to the needy in the area by members of the United States Marine Corps Reserve Detachment of Ridgefield. All those helping the program are volunteers.

Collection bins in Newtown are located at Berkshire Hathaway Realtors, 84-A South Main Street; Cannon Ridge Training Center, 3 Simms Lane; The Children’s Adventure Center, 14 Riverside Road; Dodgingtown Fire Company firehouse, 55 Dodgingtown Road; Dr Baum’s office, 23 Church Hill Road;

Coldwell Banker, 45 South Main Street; National Shooting Sports Foundation, 11 Mile Hill Road; Newtown Police Department, 3 Main Street; Newtown Bank (main branch, 39 Main Street, 203-426-2563; and Sand Hill Plaza, 203-270-7402); Newtown Youth Academy, 4 Primrose Street;

Panera Bread, 228 South Main Street (Sand Hill Plaza); Dr Popowich’s office, 71 South Main Street; Society of Plastics Engineers, 13 Church Hill Road; State Farm,  23 Barnabas Road; and William Pitt-Sotheby’s Realty, 17 Church Hill Road.

In addition, multiple locations have also been set up in Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Ridgefield, Wilton and Weston.

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit charity. Donations made to Toys For Tots are tax deductible.

Since 1948 when the program went nationwide (after its pilot program the previous Christmas season), Marine Corps Reserve units across the country have conducted campaigns, seeking new unwrapped toys for Christmas distribution.

Local campaigns are conducted annually in more than 700 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Campaigns begin in October and last until mid to late December; toy distribution takes place mid to late December. Coordinators pick up toys from the donation locations and store them in central warehouses where they are sorted by age and gender.

At Christmas, coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups and other local community agencies, distribute the toys to the less fortunate children of the community. In 2011, Toys For Tots distributed nearly 16 million toys to more than seven million children.

The objectives of Toys For Tots are to help needy children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of the nation’s most valuable natural resources, its 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.

For information on operating hours of any of this year’s drop-off locations contact the business directly. For details about Toys For Tots and the US Marine Corps Reserve Detachment of Ridgefield visit ridgefield-ct.toysfortots.org.

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