This last holiday season, the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Bowling Green, Kentucky was more than happy to support local children. To do that, they decided to join the Toys for Tots program as one of many drop off locations. The local Toys for Tots program serves Warren County and six surrounding counties in the Bowling Green area. Janel Doyle, who is the Toys for Tots Coordinator for the area, came out to speak to the Ross Bowling Green campus staff, faculty, and students about the importance and impact of the project.
The Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program began in 1947 to provide parents a way to give their children a traditional gift, even if the family was falling on hard times. Reservist Bill Hendricks’ wife, Diane, was having trouble finding a place to donate a doll to a needy child in her community, and that is how it all began. Shocked at the lack of organization to donate toys to for children, Bill rallied up his troops and Toys for Tots was born.
Since then, the program has increased and grown exponentially. As of 2013, the Toys for Tots Program and Foundation has collected and distributed more than 469 million toys, meaning the mission to support children during the holidays is alive and well. When kids wake up in the morning for one day out of that year, we need to make sure that they understand that they matter. That they get to unwrap something. Volunteers and community support is a must for this program to fulfill its mission.
After Janel spoke with the very excited campus community, she left behind two large boxes so that they could begin to work on filling them with toys. The Bowling Green campus was honored to be a part of this worthwhile community event. Once they had their instructions and their boxes, they began the work of collecting the toys for the local children. For nearly a month, they worked together to collect toys appropriate for a variety of ages, hobbies, and interests. They met their goal by filling both boxes. Many students, staff, and faculty commented that they were excited to have the opportunity to give gifts to children that may not otherwise receive any.