Toys for Tots delivers Christmas blessings with community support; STGnews Videocast

Mckinlee Albrecht, 8, helped deliver toys to children for the Toys for Tots program, St. George, Utah, Dec. 20, 2014 |Photo by Holly Coombs, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — About 68 cars and trucks showed up at the warehouse on 3050 E. 450 N. Saturday, where an estimated 11,000 toys including 64 bikes were stored and prepared for delivery to underprivileged children for Christmas. About 265 toy deliveries for the Toys for Tots Foundation were completed between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“For this year, 2014, Toys for Tots has gone extremely well,” said retired Marine Gy. Sgt. Rick Massey, the Toys for Tots coordinator for the Marine Corps League of Southern Utah. “We’ve got a lot of kids out there, a lot of families, but we cannot do what we do without the support of the community.”

(report continues below) 

Videocast by Holly Coombs, St. George News

Toys for Tots, a  Marine Corps’ nationwide organization that started in 1927, was created to bring toys to needy children for Christmas. Massey shared his gratitude to volunteers, donors and businesses for making the project a success

“I’m just a coordinator, a middle man, and I want to thank those who have shown their support,” he said.

Car Guys Care, a group of car clubs that organized a toy drive on Dec. 6 and raised $2,396 as well as hundreds of toy donations for the Toys for Tots Foundation, was mentioned by Massey as well as Sunbrook and Sky Mountain  Golf Courses for putting on a golf tournament, the Red Rock Running Club for organizing a race;  Menchies, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Texas Road House were among others that supported the Toys for Tots efforts.

The Toys for Tots program has all been worthwhile, he said.

Mckinlee Albrecht, 8, delivered presents with her mother, Jamie Albrecht. Mckinlee Albrecht said her favorite part of helping out the Toys for Tots Foundation was picking out the toys for the kids. She said she became excited when children showed joy because of the presents they received during deliveries.

One woman, who had escaped an abusive situation in a nearby state to make a new start in St. George, had Toys for Tots given to her and her children. Iona Ence, who is housing the woman, said she didn’t know what to expect when a bishop from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sought out her help for the woman, whose name is withheld for her protection.

“He said my name kept coming to mind,” Ence said.  “We knew we were supposed to take care of her.”

With nothing as much as a diaper or baby clothes taken with her as she left her prior home, the woman was greeted with donations of clothing and love from neighbors in St. George.

“I’m blessed,” she said, “especially coming from a tough situation and having others love my kids is wonderful.”

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  • Shelly December 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Just for the record, Toys for Tots Foundation donates toys to lots of children, regardless of their religion, not just LDS. It’s a really wonderful charity.

    • Koolaid December 24, 2014 at 2:03 am

      I would hope it wouldn’t be so religiously biased it would focus on recipients being of one particular religion. What a sham that would be.

  • IN THE GAME December 22, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I tried to give some Christmas gifts to a Jehovah Witness family a few years ago. They were so pissed off they called me a pagan. I’m not pagan, but I guess they thought calling me that would make them feel better. So just be careful when you say it’s good to give to all religions, because they went ape $hi* on me.

  • Evil twins mommy December 22, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Shelley it is a great foundation and a lot of people donate their time to help out the less fortunate its one of the many charities I always donate to. Happy Holidays Shelley…

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