Toys for Tots
distribution held at The Resource Center
By SAMANTHA MCDONNELL
OBSERVER Photo by Samantha McDonnell
Staff and volunteers helped distribute toys Monday for the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots drive. Pictured, from left, are: Laurie Strong, agency habilitation specialist; Jamie Valentine, volunteer; Marcia Restivo, administrator of workforce and operations; Kristen Anson, activity leader; Jessica Edwards, volunteer; and Julie Kohler, primary care practice manager.
OBSERVER Staff Writer
'Tis the season for giving. The annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots annual drive culminated Monday with the distribution of toys at The Resource Center.
All donations were collected last week and were sorted in Jamestown this past weekend. They were distributed at two locations of The Resource Center, Dunkirk and Jamestown. This is the 13th year The Resource Center has been a part of the organization.
The Resource Center in Dunkirk had more families go through the application process for this year's program.
"It's up to 200 families this year," Administrator of Workforce and Operations Marcia Restivo said. "Last year we had 150."
Heather Brown, assistance executive director of The Resource Center, said that donations of toys were a bit slow this year but within the past week they picked up.
"Toys (were) coming in kind of slow but the last few days we had a big push," she said.
People who donated to Toys for Tots this year were more thoughtful, according to Restivo, saying most of the donations were just "beautiful." Brown described the donations as "awesome."
"We have received a lot of beautiful donations this year," Restivo said. "It's just a wonderful program."
Brown said it is wonderful for those people who are able to donate. They step up and help out those who are less fortunate. She also said that the amount of applications and the increase, shows there is still need.
"It's telling that applications are still increasing. That shows there is still a big need in the community," Brown said.
Restivo said her favorite part of donations is seeing families leave happy after receiving donations.
"I'm happy to see people come in and leave with a smile on their face," she said.
Brown said The Resource Center is thankful to be a part of such a great program.
"The Resource Center is really fortunate to be a part of this," she said. "We can give back to the community that has given so much to us."
Applicants can still pick up toys today from 10 a.m. to noon for those who have filled out applications already. The application process for this year has closed and no new applications will be accepted.
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