Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots (T4T)

t4t

CENTRE COUNTY TOYS FOR TOTS NEEDS YOUR HELP
We all know that 2020 has proven to be a very difficult year. Because of the virus and Penn State closing down for the semester before Thanksgiving, we have had to move up this year’s campaign by a month. In addition, we will still need volunteers for sorting and preparing toys for distribution but we will not wrap the toys and will be restricted to only 75 volunteers at a session. The schedule and other information is available along with updates at http://lemont-pa.toysfortots.org.

You can help by:
1. Providing a toy and food item at the collection points around the county between October 15th and November 12th.
2. Especially important this year is making a monetary donation to Centre County Toys for Tots at the website above. We purchase toys from wholesalers to make donations go further and for many years have been able to use the prior year’s donations to purchase toys in the September/October timeframe to have them available for that year’s distribution. We have also saved about $10,000 in the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation account for Centre County as a reserve for any lean years. This is one of those lean years and we are looking to spend down that reserve this year. This means that we will need to have donations build up for next year along with hoping to have more than usual in monetary donations so that we can make some last-minute purchases for use this year. The need will be greater than usual and the number of collection points will be lower along with a shorter collection period.
3. Signing up to assist us with preparing the toys for distribution. Please go to the lemont-pa toys for tots website for the schedule and register with us so that we can have enough volunteers and yet stay safe with social distancing. Last year the Toys for Tots Foundation provided us with about $20,000 more in toys from national sponsorships than in the past and we found that Mifflin County is the second poorest county in the state along with never having a Toys for Tots coordinator. We were able to use that extra 3000 toys by sending them to Lewistown. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation monitors the number of toys leftover along with the amount of funds in each sub-account and if we had not passed on those toys to Mifflin County, we would have had NO toys sent to us by the Foundation this year. We hope to be able to pass 3000 toys to Mifflin County again this year so your assistance will go even further.

Gene Weller
Coordinator,
Centre County Toys for Tots
Nittany Leathernecks Det.,MCL
PO Box 956
Lemont, PA 16851-0956
(814) 234-9831 (day)
leatherneck302.gmail.com

Travis Corkery
Assistant Coordinator, Centre County Toys for Tots Nittany Leathernecks Det., MCL
PO Box 956 Lemont, PA 16851-0956
leatherneck302@gmail.com 

Donate to T4T online: http://lemont-pa.toysfortots.org

Corporate Sponsorships
Each year a corporate sponsor helps support the program effort. Sponsorship allows the detachment to maintain its own web site which contains essential information relative to the annual Centre County Toys for Tots campaign. 


About the T4T Program

Use this QR to scan in and visit our local Toys-forTots Donation Website (monetary donations only - - have your credit card ready)

Important Information:

More Information:

Det 302 is Especially Proud of its Program and Commitment

Since 1947, the Marine Corps Reserve has annually sponsored the Toys for Tots(T4T) effort throughout the United States. To date, well over 100 million children have had holiday dreams come true through the efforts of the Marine Corps Reserve. Det 302's T4T program has been successful because of:

  • Behind the Scene - An almost year-long effort ensures the critical three week execution period is successfully conducted.
  • The Nittany Leatherneck's motto - "Valiant service is not limited to combat."
  • Organization Support - The Nittany Leathernecks Detachment sponsors and encourages group organizational support. 
How the Centre County Toys for Tots Program works:
The Nittany Leathernecks serve as the program facilitator. Members rarely interface with actual benefactors of the program. Only on rare occasion does that happen. Working closely with the Centre County Adult Services Office, Pennsylvania State Police Foster Child Program, and the State College Elks Club, the detachment is the conduit for collecting, wrapping, sorting, and logistically delivering toys to the service agencies (noted above) that provide the actual distribution. Needs established by the Centre County Adult Services Office are provided to the detachment. The detachment then provides four items for each child/young adult. These items include toys, books, games, sporting equipment, and other appropriate articles for young adults such as jewelry, watches, radios, backpacks, etc. Generally speaking, two of the four items received will be quality items the child/young adult can particularly enjoy. Each year the annual campaign ensures that over 3000 less-than-fortunate Centre County children enjoy the holiday spirit. The Centre County Toys for Tots campaign accommodates religious protocols (in concert with economic eligibility) for Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, and Kwanza during the December-January holiday season.

The actual execution of the process takes place in a remarkable two-week time window. Additionally, other social service agencies are provided any leftover toys that remain. To execute the logistics, and also provide a safety net to catch those needy children who may fall through the crack at the last minute, the Nittany Leathernecks have enlisted the help of local fire and police units. Fire companies throughout the county provide transportation from the wrapping/distribution site to the area food banks. The distribution we are talking about includes an average of approximately 14,000 toys each year. Local police units each receive a cache of toys so that any short-notice calls for help can be handled immediately especially, for example, on the eve of Hanukkah or Christmas. The use of police personnel for last minute situations is unique. The Nittany Leathernecks feel it is important for young kids (and parents) in economically disadvantaged homes to develop positive interactions with local law enforcement personnel. Letting police units close the final loop is a unique opportunity to create a positive encounter. It is a win-win situation for all concerned.

Toy Donations:
Each year during the campaign toy donation collection sites are set up throughout the county at various collection points. At these sites, large red collection barrels are made available from Thanksgiving Day until approximately one week before December 25th. Established sites include those noted here. Toy donations should be new, unwrapped toys for infant through young adult (13 and above). Do not waste time wrapping gifts since they will be unwrapped and inspected before being rewrapped and distributed to the supporting food banks or designated distribution organization.

Cash Donations:
Cash donations are always welcome. These donations provide flexibility in terms of filling age/gender shortfall areas that the actual toy donation collection effort fails to cover each year. Traditionally, shortfall areas include infant as well as young adult (13 and above). Checks or money orders are preferred by those desiring to make contributions. Please make checks or money orders out to "Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation". ALL cash donations received by the Nittany Leathernecks are sent to an account held by the national headquarters located at Quantico, Virginia. All (100%) money received by the Nittany Leathernecks goes to the Centre County effort. Checks should/will be annotated with "Nittany Leathernecks Detachment" in the memo section before forwarding to the national foundation in order to ensure they are held for the exclusive benefit of Centre County. The foundation provides accountability and protection to ensure no misuse of the funds occur. Absolutely NO member of the Nittany Leathernecks Detachment receives any personal compensation for his/her effort(s) on behalf of the campaign. All contributions made to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation are tax deductible under the IRS-approved code 501(c)3 "Tax Exempt Organization." The federal identification number (FIN) for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation is 22-3050009.

Penn State Basketball Games:
Each year, the Penn State Athletic Department has identified specific basketball games as Toys for Tots support events. Basketball fans will be admitted at no cost, other than the contribution of a new and unused toy at the entrance gate. The Nittany Leathernecks wish to thank the Penn State Athletic Department for this special support we receive each year.

e-mail Notices:
For electronic event updates and news, we will add you to our e-mail distribution list. Contact Gene Weller: leatherneck302.gmail.com

For those without access to e-mail, please contact Gene Weller by regular mail:

Gene Weller
Centre County Toys for Tots
PO Box 956
Lemont, PA 16851-0956

Be sure to indicate the correct U.S. Postal Service mailing address you desire to have information delivered to. You will receive invitations to the annual kick-off breakfast, as well as announcements regarding wrapping schedules and other news. 

 T4T Supporters

Wrapping Things Up 

2020 Toys for Tots Wrapping Schedule at the  Penn Stater Conference Center, 2nd Floor

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE WILL BE DOING THE WRAPPING VERY DIFFERENT THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF THE COVID19

 Instead of wrapping individual toys, we will need volunteers to sort the items by age and gender and then fill orders of four items per child in a 13 gallon trash bag, mark the bag, seal it, and consolidate by food pantry. We will also be sorting food donations. The Penn Stater requires that all volunteers, IN ADVANCE, provide their contact information. We will be restricted to having a maximum of 75 volunteers per session.

Please respond to lemont.pa@toysfortots.org with session(s) you plan to attend, name, phone number, email address, and mailing address. If possible, please return this information in an Excel worksheet for easier consolidation.

MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED.

 Saturday November 14th:
• 10:00 A.M. to Noon - Youth Groups & Scout Troops - MAX of 75 volunteers
• 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. – MAX of 75 volunteers

Sunday November15th: 
• 2:00 PM to 5:00 P.M. – MAX of 75 volunteers

 Monday November 16th:
• 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. – MAX of 75 volunteers
• 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. – MAX of 75 volunteers

Tuesday November 17th: 
•  10:00 A.M until complete only if needed.- MAX of 75 volunteers

 Wednesday November 18th:
•  6:00 P.M. Clean-up and transfer of remaining toys – MAX of 75 volunteers

 Check the website below for any schedule updates.
 * Those attending wrapping sessions are asked to bring a food item being collected to support Centre County Food Pantries.

** Volunteers are required by the Marine Corps to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement.  Copies will be at the Penn Stater or are available online at http://lemont-pa.toysfortots.org (under local documents)

STICKER CODING GUIDE

  • "A & C" - Arts and crafts
  • "YA" - Young adults (items that are non-toy for older youth);
  • "ANM" - Stuffed animals;
  • "BK" -Books "DOL" - Dolls;
  • "TRK" -Trucks, cars, etc;
  • "EDU" - Educational "BLK" - Blocks; "GAM" - Games;
  • "JWL" - Jewelry; "MOD" - Model;
  • "SPT" - Sports equipment;
  • "PZ" - Puzzle;
  • "CBK" - Coloring books;
  • "TOY" -Any item that doesn't fit in the above group
  • BLUE STICKERS ARE FOR BOYS
  • PINK/RED/BRIGHT ORANGE STICKERS ARE GIRLS
  • YELLOW STICKERS ARE FOR EITHER BOY OR GIRL
  • WHITE STICKERS SHOW THE CONTENTS
  • AGE GROUP GUIDE/CATEGORIES

"INFANT" ( ITEMS LISTED FOR 0-18 MONTHS)
"2" (ITEMS LISTED FOR EITHER 24 MONTHS OR 2 YEARS)
"3" (ITEMS LISTED FOR EITHER 36 MONTHS OR 3 YEARS)
"4-6"
"7-9"
"10-12"
"13 & UP"

Please Note:

  • IF AN ITEM IS FOR A 1-3 YEAR OLD, ONLY PUT AGE STICKERS SHOWING 2 & 3.
  • IF AN ITEM WERE FOR 3 TO 7 YEAR OLDS, YOU WOULD PUT STICKERS ON SHOWING THE AGE OF 3 & 4-6.
  • NEVER PUT A STICKER ON THAT IS LOWER OR HIGHER THAN THE RECOMMENDED AGES.
ADDITIONAL WRAPPING INFORMATION
It is our mission to provide four new toys for each child identified primarily via the seven Centre County food banks. These agencies adhere to financial standards set by the county for determining eligibility. The food banks provide us with a list by age and gender of the number of children that they support. At the Penn Stater, two large conference rooms are utilized along with about 4four smaller rooms. The toys are collected in one small room where the bar codes are crossed out and then the toys are placed by category in the next small room. The first large room is where the wrapping and labeling occurs. To reduce confusion, the toys are placed on the wrapping tables by category such as puzzle, or doll. Only that category of sticker will be at that table location. When items run low in that category, more are brought from the second small room mentioned earlier. After the toys are wrapped and labeled, the toys are taken to the second large room that is segregated by age and gender. The toys are placed in the appropriate category from which the orders for each food bank are filled. After counting and bagging the toys for a specific food bank, those bags are then taken to another small room where they are segregated by food bank. Volunteers from the county's fire departments will pick up the bags and transport them to their food bank site.