DANSVILLE — The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has been going strong since the end of World War Two.
Dansville Wireless Zone is partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign to bring new toys to less fortunate children in the area for Christmas.
The drop off boxes will be set up Thanksgiving week until Dec. 15 for new toys. The toys are geared towards the youngsters.
Wireless Zone Marketing and Communications Manager Michele Correia said the company has been doing this at all of their locations for about five years.
“Our stores are all locally owned and operated,” she said. “We want to be part of our local communities as much as we can. The owners live and work in the communities.”
Correia said Toys for Tots is a great way for them to give back to the community.
“It really is a great way to see first hand what is going on in your community. You known when you donate a toy that it is going to someone in the local community,” she said. “It is not going to some warehouse somewhere, and to a kid you don’t know. It is going to someone in need right in the community.”
The number of needy children in the community determines the amount of toys given to each one.
“We believe in being a good neighbor,” Correia said. “We have a foundation based on giving back.”
Correia said it is more meaningful in these small-towns, because you really know the people you are giving back too.
“For me this is about a chance to give back,” she said. “I have been pretty fortunate, so it is good to help others who are less fortunate. We want to make it a better place little by little.”
All 26 states that have a Wireless Zone location give back to their community through Toys for Tots and School Rock Backpack Giveaway.
Dansville Wireless Zone Store Manager Josh Chavez said Wireless Zone has done this for years in the 10 stores located in the Greater Rochester Area.
“The point is to talk to the customers and let them know we are doing this for a great cause,” he said. “All 10 of the stores do this every year.”
Someone from the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation drops off two big boxes to collect new toys for the needy children.
“We set up flyers around town to get the word out there that the boxes are ready,” Chavez said. “In the previous years we have had less activity than we would like. My employees always donate something, and we have some regular customers who like to donate. I hope we can fill up the boxes this year.”
The School Rocks Backpack Giveaway was highly successful this year, so Chavez is hoping the Toys for Tots campaign will be as well.
“The Toys for Tots people will collect the boxes, wrap the presents, and get them wherever they need to go,” he said. “We put posters outside of the store letting people know about the boxes.”
Chavez said this is a great way the store can reach out to the community.
“It is always cool for us to reach out and give back to the community,” he said. “We mostly do things with adults, so this is a great way to reach out to the kids.”
The toys can come from Dollar Tree or Big Lots. They don’t need to be more than a five to $10 price range.
Chavez said this is not for used toys, and all toys must be new and age appropriate.
“Make sure the toys are packaged, and they don’t need to be extravagant,” he said. “This is not for clothes or used toys.”
“The people that put this together do it for all the right reason,” Chavez continued. “We have regular customers that do this every year, and are happy to help.”
For our creative community if you feel led to do a handmade gift for the children those are much appreciated as well. In fact, the first ever toy donated 70 years ago was a handmade doll.
Dansville Wireless Zone is located at 87 Franklin Street in the Tops Plaza. They can be reached at 585-612-0999. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5p.m. For more information about this great cause visit https://www.toysfortots.org/.