The Rotary Club of Mansfield and major sponsor, Pediatric Dental Care of Mansfield, are once again helping put smiles on the faces of hundreds of needy kids this holiday season. Nov. 13 marks the kick-off of the 20th Annual Toys for Tots Drive to collect and deliver thousands of toys to our area’s disadvantaged children. The campaign is part of a national effort sponsored by the United States Marine Corps.
More than 70 local businesses and groups participate in the drive by hosting colorfully decorated boxes that are used as receptacles for collecting donated toys. Thanks to these businesses and the support of their employees and customers, the Rotary Club has been able to collect over 69,600 toys since 1993 to make the holidays happy for less fortunate children. Last year alone the drive raised more than 5,100 new toys, bicycles and scooters.
Volunteers from the Mansfield Rotary Club will be delivering these boxes to area businesses for the Toys for Tots campaign running Nov. 12 through Dec. 10. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, teams of Mansfield Rotarians will collect and sort the boxes of toys. Half of the toys collected are picked-up by the local Marines, and the other half is delivered to Mansfield’s West Side Benevolent Circle for distribution to over 200 local families and their children.
“The economy is shaky and some homeowners are struggling to keep their houses. Heating homes and paying rents for apartments are just too much for some families to handle. Wages have not kept up with expenses like health care and insurance, so many families need assistance, especially during the holiday season,” commented Mansfield Rotarian Paul Connor, chairperson of the Drive. “The Toys for Tots Campaign gives Rotarians and local residents the opportunity to contribute to the spirit of giving this holiday season. It is heartwarming to see the support and generosity of the thousands of people who donate toys. It makes all the time and effort worthwhile knowing that hundreds of children will have a happier holiday as a result.”
“The effort of the Rotary club to collect these toys to Westside Benevolent Circle leaves us with more money to use for elderly fuel assistance, emergency supplies and clothing purchases for families in need all year,” said Joyce Gerraughty of Westside Benevolent Circle.
Among many local drop-off locations, toys can be dropped off at the following businesses: Mansfield Jeep Chrysler, Mansfield Municipal Airport, Mansfield Bank, North Easton Savings Bank, Mansfield Town Hall, Roche Brothers Supermarket, Mansfield Stop & Shop, Mansfield Post Office, The Old Country Store, Holiday Inn Mansfield, Sharon Credit Union and the Mansfield Public Library.
All toys should be new and unwrapped. The last day for drop off is Monday, Dec. 10. Large gifts can be dropped off directly to Mansfield Jeep Chrysler at 91 Chauncy St., Route 106 in Mansfield.
Monetary donations are accepted and can be mailed to the Rotary Club of Mansfield at PO Box 251, Mansfield, MA 02048. Make checks payable to the Rotary Club of Mansfield and specify Toys for Tots Campaign. The Toys for Tots Hotline is 508-339-3400.