T he Toys for Tots program is intended for needy children ages newborn to 12. It is run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and managed locally by American Legion Post 83.
The program aims to provide at least one toy for needy children. The Marine Corps Reserve, through donations and the cooperation of the Canadian Pacific Railway, delivers the toys to Whitehall on a special train set to arrive here at 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 5. The toys provided by the Marines are supplemented by local donations.
Upon departure of the Toys for Tots Train, the donated toys are laid out in the Whitehall Volunteer Firehouse and registered children are allowed in for pickup. To assure fairness, the parent or guardian of the registered children must report to the American Legion Post before the arrival of the train to draw a pick up number.
To register for this year’s event parents or guardians must call the American Legion Post at 499-2482 between the hours of 1 and 7 p.m. daily or Jim Lafayette at 499-1150. Organizers need the child’s name, sex and age, along with the name of the adult and contact phone number. The toy order must be placed on Nov. 25. No registrations can be accepted after 2 p.m. on that date.
Again, the intent of the program is for needy children, but all are welcome to take part in the arrival of the train. Santa and his helpers will make for a fun occasion along with distribution of gifts and a chance to meet Santa.
For those not in need of the donated toys, adults are welcome to bring in a toy for Santa to give their child.
Anyone who would like to donate can drop off their new, unopened toy at the American Legion Post. Volunteers are always appreciated.