DEDEDO, Guam (U.S. Marine Corps) — Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz is proud to announce the start of the 12th Toys for Tots campaign on Guam and seventh in the CNMI. Marines from MCB Camp Blaz have delivered toy collection boxes to participating organizations and businesses. Toy collection will commence on Oct. 4 and conclude on Dec. 10.
Last year 9,817 toys were collected on Guam, going to children in need and spreading a message of happiness and hope during the holiday season. During the campaign, 3,400 toys were distributed throughout Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
“Last year, we received overwhelming support from the community for Toys for Tots despite the negative impacts many were feeling due to the pandemic,” said Col. Christopher Bopp, the MCB Camp Blaz commanding officer. “The selflessness and kindness of everyone who donated did not go unnoticed. The ultimate success of the program and the children’s happiness is dependent upon the strength of our community and the bond we share,” Bopp said.
“The Guam chamber is pleased to partner with Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz in support of the Toys for Tots program for the twelfth consecutive year,” said Catherine Castro, president of the Guam Chamber of Commerce. “The generous spirit of our people is a testament to the giving culture in the Marianas. Despite the challenges of the pandemic last year, residents gave from their hearts and made a huge impact on many children that will last a lifetime. We are truly grateful for the community’s continued support again this year. Families with children in need are encouraged to contact Catholic Social Service and the Salvation Army to sign their children up in time for toy distribution in December.”
MCB Camp Blaz will continue to execute the Toys for Tots campaign with strict adherence to all local and national guidelines for Covid-19. All Marines, volunteers and participants of the Toys for Tots program are required to wear face coverings, wash their hands before and after events and practice social distancing. Any Marines or volunteers who feel sick or display any symptoms will not be allowed to participate.
“2020 was a record breaking year for the program,” said Capt. A. J. Ramos, the Toys for Tots lead coordinator for Guam and the CNMI. “The generosity and support we received from the community and sponsors resulted in the collection of 1,700 additional toys on Guam, a 21% increase. It’s an honor to be a part of such a successful program and help bring smiles to children during the holiday season,” Ramos said.
If you would like to participate and donate to Toys for Tots, just drop a newly purchased, unwrapped toy to one of the many businesses or organizations who have volunteered to be drop- off locations. For a complete list of locations on Guam and important dates please visit the chamber’s website at GuamChamber.com.gu, the MCB Camp Blaz Facebook page, @MCBcampblaz, or Instagram page, @mcbcampblaz. For a list of locations on Saipan contact the Saipan Chamber of Commerce at (670) 234-7150.
For families in need and would like to request toys contact either the Salvation Army at (671) 477-9872 or Catholic Social Services at (671) 635-1442.
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit charity with a 74-year history. Last year the Marine Toys for Tots Program fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of 7.3 million less fortunate children in over 800 communities nationwide by distributing 19 million toys. Since 1947 over 272 million children have been assisted and 604 million toys distributed. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org