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    Toys for Tots and Washington Commanders Partnership

    Toys for Tots and Washington Commanders Partnership

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Sarah Pysher | U.S. Marine Corps Foundation Toys for Tots mascot, Gunny Bear, poses for a photo with...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Sarah Pysher 

    Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES)

    A soft murmur of chattering filled the warm sticky air surrounding a small field that spectators walked through. At the entrance stood an inflatable helmet, one only the beanstalk giant could wear, with a large golden “W” plastered to the side. Walking underneath the shade of the towering head, viewers come upon covered bleachers full of fans, white VIP tents, and a green sea of grass filled with colossal men running drills. It is Training Camp, Day 5 for the National Football League’s Washington Commanders at OrthoVirginia Training Center, Ashburn Virginia, August 2, 2023.

    This may seem to be a normal day of practice in the preseason for this team to any onlooker, but in fact this was a very special day for not only the Washington Commanders but for the Toys for Tots Foundation as well. The Washington Commanders announced that Toys for Tots will be an official NFL charity for the team.

    The hope for this partnership is more recognition and support for both organizations. Leaders from Toys for Tots and the Commanders express their excitement to take this next leap in the collaboration to make the Commanders the official NFL sponsor.

    Visibility is the goal for Toys for Tots explained Mike Stuckey, Deputy Vice President of Operations for Toys for Tots Foundation. “This partnership will allow us to reach more people and children not only in the Christmas season but throughout the year.”
    Toys for Tots began in 1947 founded by U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Maj. Bill Hendricks and his wife Diana. Hendricks was asked by his wife to donate her handmade dolls to an agency for children but with no luck in finding such an agency, Diana instructed Hendricks to “start one.” Now, after a successful 76 years of donations, Toys for Tots distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children annually throughout the country.
    “When people think of Toys for Tots they think of Christmas time charity, but we are so much more than that.” said Stuckey.

    The Toys for Tots mission is bringing the gift of new toys to less fortunate children. In addition to the Christmas time charity program, Toys for Tots has other programs as well such as the Literacy Program where books are donated to different Title-1 schools. Toys for Tots even has a foster care program that has been able to support a few thousand kids this year alone.

    With the Commander's support, Toys for Tots hopes to reach even more children in need and inspire new generations to give the gift of joy through new toys, books, and games year-round.
    “At the end of the day this partnership is for supporting our youth and all the children who are in need. We try to do it throughout the year and this partnership has been and will be instrumental in our mission.” said Dawn Stem, Prince George's County local coordinator for Toys for Tots.

    Now children and fans can look forward to seeing their favorite Commanders players at different Toys for Tots drives, or even while watching a football game wearing “Toys for Tots” on the side of their cleats. Moving forward the Commanders and Toys for Tots will gain traction in any and all events they participate in.



    Date Taken: 08.11.2023
    Date Posted: 08.25.2023 13:46
    Story ID: 451246
    Location: ASHBURN, VA, US
    Hometown: PRINCE GEORGE, VA, US
    Hometown: WASHINGTON, DC, US

    Web Views: 86
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