As we look ahead to the holiday season, I write to update the community that the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program for Shiawassee County is moving.
After 12 years of running the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program at the Salvation Army Citadel in Owosso, and after several years of careful consideration, several factors have combined to make it necessary to find a new space. One primary reason is that our volunteers across the board are getting older; in particular, the members of the Marine Corps League Harold R Cooley Detachment who distribute the boxes and collect the toys throughout the county. Additionally, more and more grandparents are becoming the guardians of many of the children. Both of those groups need a handicap accessible building.
The community center located in Corunna’s McCurdy Park will be our new sign-up and toy store venue. The space is both larger and 100 percent handicap accessible, with plenty of parking. Additionally, there are other Christmas programs that are run out of the community center during that time of year, which we believe will only add to a wonderful Christmas atmosphere.
I want to thank the Salvation Army for allowing us to run the United States Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program out of the citadel for the past 12 years. I believe it has been a wonderful ministry for both of our organizations, and has allowed us to help many families during the Christmas season in ways that we could not have done individually. My hope is that the Salvation Army will remain a valued ministry partner, as well as all of the other local organizations that gather yearly to help those in need.
I would ask all of the other organizations that help those in need, in particular those with children this time of year, to please reach out to us so that we can help to make the families we serve aware of other programs that may make this a joyous holiday season for all.
God bless all of our volunteers throughout the years that help the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program, and all those who give of their time, talent or treasure in any capacity to those organizations that serve the less fortunate.
Gerald Alcorn, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots
Shiawassee County coordinator