On Thursday, my fellow Evening Sun staffer Tyler Murphy and I trekked across town to the Toys for Tots distribution center on South Broad Street. As I mentioned in last week’s column, I was really looking forward to pitching in for a couple of hours to help this amazing cause, which makes sure local children don’t go without during the holidays.
The local program, which is affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program, is a collaborative effort: the Label Gallery and former Marine Reservist Roger Barnhart coordinate the local toy drive, while Roots and Wings oversees the sorting and distribution of the toys collected.
As we walked from our office on Lackawanna Ave to the Toys for Tots location in the old Salvation Army store, I filled Tyler in on my experience sorting toys for the local non-profit last year with one of our other colleagues, Brian Golden. It had been Brian’s first day with the paper – the anniversary of which he’ll celebrate tomorrow, by the way.
On that day, Brian and I had both been amazed by the volume of new, unwrapped toys which had been donated (and/or purchased with donations), all destined to end up under the trees of local children whose families might not otherwise have been able to afford to buy them presents. We had gotten to play Santa’s helpers, selecting gifts for each child based on the wish lists created by their parents. The whole experience had really touched my heart.