WASHINGTON — This is supposed to be a happy time of year, but it can be tough on children who don’t get anything come Christmas morning. That is why AAA Mid-Atlantic is once again teaming up with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots.
“It can be a rather traumatic time, and we want to make their lives happier and enrich their lives by making sure they’re not forgotten at Christmas,” says John Townsend, with AAA Mid-Atlantic.
You can drop off toy donations at participating AAA Mid-Atlantic retail stores and Car Care Insurance Travel Centers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, as well as Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When you find a location, call ahead to make sure they accept donations.
“You can really have an impact on someone else’s life,” says Townsend. “It’s an opportunity to change the lives of needy children, and that is of paramount importance at Christmastime.”
Townsend says there are more than a dozen locations throughout the Washington metropolitan area where you can drop off new, unwrapped toys for children up to 16 years old. He says, “We have a big basket (for toy donations) in our retail office in downtown Washington,” as well as in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Rockville, Annapolis and Brandywine in Maryland.
They don’t accept food gifts or realistic-looking toy weapons.
“This is one of those things that really puts you in the Christmas spirit,” says Townsend. Toys donations are being accepted through Monday, Dec. 14.
Toys for Tots is run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and was founded in L.A. in 1947 to provide toys for underprivileged kids. Last year, the program helped brighten Christmas for nearly 7 million disadvantaged kids.
Townsend says that since the beginning of Toy for Tots, more than 400 million toys have been donated to more than 180 million children.