Toys-for-Tots drive returns for holiday season

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Photo Credit: Caroline Griffin

To get into the holiday spirit, a Christmas tree was displayed behind a ‘Toys for Tots’ collection box in the Hamilton Lobby for students to drop off their toy donations.

by Caroline Griffin, Senior Staff Writer

The class of 2018 supported the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program in hopes to give a less fortunate child a new present on Christmas.

For the fourth consecutive year a collection box was put in the Hamilton Lobby. Donations for new and unwrapped toys were available for anyone to drop off until Dec. 9.

“We are pretty fortunate here. So anything that we can give back is certainly something that I would be supportive of. I think the holidays are a good time for that,” said principal John Arlotta.

Toys for Tots, an organization run by the Marines, looks to give children opening the gift a message of hope. 

Coordinator Kevin Callahan continued his idea to pursue the Toys for Tots collection drive originally thought of in eighth grade. The school has participated through the use of incentives in past years and spreading the word over the morning announcements.

“My role has been just making sure the announcements were made and certainly anything I can do to get people to participate, for example the faculty and things like that,” said Arlotta.

This year alone there have been 65 donations from faculty and students combined in the school.

“I always encourage peers to donate to the organization every year,” said Callahan.

I really enjoy participating in the organization and doing good for others”

— Kevin Callahan

In past years, Callahan proposed an incentive system between teachers and students. With Arlotta’s approval, he asked teachers to give an incentive by offering extra credit points to students who donate a toy to the drive.

“In my freshman year I brought in a children’s puzzle to show my science teacher,” said Mia Seibold, a junior. “The extra credit points that I earned in return, brought my marking period grade up. More importantly it made me happy to be able to donate to the organization.”

For the past two years Callahan took the toys to Waldwick Public Library. The school nearly doubled the library’s donations, both this year and last.

Arlotta and Callahan expressed their support of Toys for Tots and look to get more people to participate in this program.

“We certainly support this organization and think it’s a good thing,” said Arlotta.