December 18, 2021

Today is the last Saturday that you can help support the Toys for Tots program in Pocatello before Christmas.  Members of the Marine Corps League, Steven D. Merrell Post #698, will be collecting donations for Southeast Idaho Toys for Tots today from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Big Lots store on Pocatello Creek Road.  Stop by and help out with this worthy cause while you are doing your holiday shopping.

Toys for Tots is incredibly impactful in our community and beyond.  Volunteers with the Southeast Idaho Toys for Tots program bring Christmas hope and joy to thousands of children annually throughout the region.  The local program, part of the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation, will provide toys for more than six hundred families with three thousand children this year.  Toys are provided to SE Idaho families across six counties: Bannock, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power.

It takes a lot of volunteers and organizations working together to accomplish their mission, “to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas.”  These include members of Pocatello’s Steven D. Merrell Marine Corps League Post 698 who collect toys outside local stores, AMVETS, which partners with the Marine Corps League at the monthly breakfasts held during the holiday season to collect toys and monetary donations, and volunteers in the community.

Dales Inc. plays a vital part in the mission by donating office and warehouse space to the effort at the Garrett Freight Lines building.  One member of the local Toys for Tots organization said, “Without this office space, Toys for Tots probably could not function.”

Besides being supported by local organizations, Toys for Tots provides help to other groups that seek to provide toys for children.  They assist the Lions Club with their annual special needs Christmas party.  They assist the Bannock Creek Community Center, serving the American Falls side of the Fort Hall Reservation.  Other organizations assisted by Toys for Tots include SEICAA, the Fort Hall Sho-Ban Head Start program, and various Court programs.

Toys for Tots ensures that the work they do is well-managed.  Each year Phil Hartman, a leader in the local effort, must apply for the program and attend the training conducted in Virginia.  The local program, as all such programs around the nation are, is typically audited annually to confirm that toys donated, and funds received, are used for their intended purpose.

The members of Pocatello’s local Toys for Tots program are proud to be a part of meeting the Toys for Tots goal each year, so that they, “through the gift of a new toy, help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children.”

To learn more about the local Toys for Tots program, contact Southeast Idaho Toys for Tots | Facebook


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.