Students attending the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan rang in the holiday season by collecting toys for Toys for Tots. From Disney toys to art supplies and even an Easy Bake Oven, the campus pulled together to ensure local children would have a great holiday. Collecting toys for needy children has become a tradition for the Ann Arbor students and staff. Career Services Student Support Representative Byron Ruffin said, “we have been involved with toys for Tots as long as I can remember.”
According to the Toys for Tots website, the principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located. In communities without a Reserve Unit, the campaign can be conducted by a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally Marine veterans, authorized by Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign. Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations.
The Toys for Tots office in Washtenaw County is very busy this time of year. Campus Director Susan Mall contacted the Marine Recruiting Center for assistance with dropping off the toys. Gunnery Sergeant Papple was happy to help and indicated that students “could drop the toys off at the recruiting center anytime.” Lena Hicks, Britney Clemons, and Krystal Morrison, students in the Ann Arbor Medical Assistant program, joined Campus Director Susan Mall to deliver the toys to the Ann Arbor Marine Recruiting Station.
The Marines were very happy to have the donations. Medical Assistant student Lena Hicks shared, “I have collected toys for the organization before and it is a very cool thing.” The Foundation was created in 1991 and over the years they have supplemented local campaigns with tens of millions of toys valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the website. Additionally, the Foundation provides approximately one million dollars’ worth of promotional and support materials to local campaigns each year.