CAMDEN — In an annual tradition, Camden firefighters stationed themselves at a busy downtown Camden Saturday morning, Dec. 2, to collect donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
Drivers passing through town on Route 1 slowed their vehicles, pulling over to roll down windows and hand money to the firefighters. One $100 check donation said simply, “Spread joy!”
Shoppers on foot dropped toys into large collection boxes, or slipped cash and checks into donation buckets. Several went into local stores specifically to purchase toys for the collection box, returning with large, filled bags.
The spirit of generosity was alive in Camden, and if people did not have cash, some went to the bank, while others trekked to the store or their cars to get change.
“For the past 10 years, Camden firefighters have supported Toys for Tots Knox County by collecting toys and donations downtown during the Saturday morning of Christmas by the Sea,” said Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley. “This year, our generous community donated a box of toys and $2,709. All of this stays in Knox County to support local families.”
The mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Program, initiated in 1947, is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas. And the goal is, through the gift of a new toy, to help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children, according to the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots.