Toys for Tots kicking off this month

Staff Report

It’s that time of year again.

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program in Ascension Parish is kicking off its ninth official campaign this year.  Several events will be held to raise awareness and funds for the children in Ascension parish during this campaign. It’s the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots 63rd years of community service.           

With more than 15,000 needy children in Ascension parish, many of whom won’t have toys for Christmas, this year’s campaign will hopefully bring toys and funding to help enable the children in the parish to have a brighter Christmas.  Each year, the campaign’s main objective is to change the Marine Corps statistics, through local toy collection campaigns, which begin this month through Dec. 15. 

Toy distribution will take place Dec. 18 - 22.

This year’s campaign will feature its annual Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” Toy Drive throughout Ascension parish.  The toy drives will take place at Wal-Mart, Big Lots, and stores as well as other location.  The Toys for Tots mobile storage container will be stationed at a central location.  The goal is to fill it with toys with the help and support from the local community.

“Last year, the program doubled its numbers by helping to provide and distribute toys to over 4,500 children and over 12,500 families, this year, we are looking forward to exceed that number,” said Councilman Oliver Joseph, retired GySgt. U.S. Marine Corps and Ascension parish coordinator for, Toys for Tots.

Joseph also stated that “The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program is dedicated to helping provide toys to needy children, and the ultimate success depends on the support of the local community and the generosity of the people who donate toys, money, and/or time.  All toys collected for the Toys for Tots campaign remain here in Ascension Parish.”

All local businesses in the parish will be sent information regarding the campaign.  Members of the community can drop off new, unwrapped toys in collection boxes positioned at local businesses. An additional toy drop-off location has been added for your convenience.  You can now drop off toys at the following:

• Dependable Storage-16068 Airline Highway in Prairieville across from the Post Office

• GSA Inc – 1022 Purpera Rd in Gonzales.

• Donaldsonville Fire Department-700 Lafourche Street in Donaldsonville

• Ascension Parish Welcome Center-6967 Hwy 22 in Sorrento

Drop off times are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Coordinators will pick up the toys and store them in the central warehouse where the toys are sorted by age and gender.  At Christmas, coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups and other local community agencies, will distribute the toys to the needy children of the community.

According to Joseph, there are several ways you can assist in the campaign, which include:

• Making a corporate tax-deductible contribution for the purchase of toys.

• Permitting the Marine Corps Reserve to use your organization/place of business as a collection point for toys.

• Encourage employees to donate toys at Christmas parties and

• Volunteering your time to assist with toy pickups and deliveries.

All non-profit organizations willing to submit applications for toy distribution must have a completed application in by Dec.15.  Businesses and individuals seeking to get involved in this year’s Toys for Tots campaign, they can contact Oliver Joseph at 225-348-0254, Fax to 225-473-0117 or mail to P.O. Box 1065 Donaldsonville, LA 70347.  More information about the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program can be obtained by emailing  HYPERLINK "mailto:APC-T4T@Cox.net" APC-T4T@Cox.net or ToysForTots.org.  The U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program is a 501 c non-profit agency