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Program Still Alive; Needs Help

December 11, 2011
Mike Myer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

There's been some confusion concerning the Toys for Tots program in our area, in part because Wheeling-area Marines were unable to do their usual fine job with it this year.

Let's clear it up:

First, quite a few individuals and organizations have stepped in to ensure that Toys for Tots or something like it happens this year. If you see a Toys for Tots collection bin, drop a new toy into it. If you're more inclined to make a cash donation, do that.

Among those leading the charge are some local car dealerships. I'm told their campaigns will provide thousands of dollars to buy toys for needy children. Bless them for their concern.

But here's the catch: Some folks working with Toys for Tots may not be aware the local Marines aren't providing all the services they have in past years - through no fault of their own, I emphasize.

If you happen to be one of those kind-hearted folks and you can find yourself with a lot of toys you don't know how to distribute, try this: Call Susie Nelson at the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, in Wheeling (304-242-3144).

Nelson is one of those saints who didn't merely bemoan the Marines' bad luck in having to suspend their Toys for Tots program. In cooperation with several businesses, she sprang into action and is collecting both money and toys. Marine John Nanny of Wheeling, who headed Toys for Tots locally for many years, says he's grateful for her campaign.

I'm told some charities believe they'll be all right in terms of having enough toys to help needy clients. Others still need help.

Time is short. Here's the thing: Don't hesitate because you're uncertain whether there is an organized Toys for Tots campaign in your area. Some Ohio Valley counties still have Marine-run Toys for Tots programs. Elsewhere, charities and good folks like those at the Community Foundation are stepping up to the plate.

With your help - and only with it - thousands of Northern Panhandle and East Ohio children will receive toys they otherwise wouldn't have this Christmas. So don't wait. Make a contribution today.

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