Toys for Tots Christmas Celebration Brings Everyone Together
The University of Findlay hosted its 18th annual Toys for Tots Christmas Celebration on Thursday, December 1st. University students, faculty, and staff came together to celebrate the holidays and spend time with Santa.
The annual Toys for Tots Toy Drive kicked off on November 14th, as students began collecting toys from faculty, staff, students, and surrounding community members. After two weeks of collecting donations, the toy drive resulted in nearly 200 new toys.
Director of Student Activities, Sharinda Welton, helped coordinate this year’s toy drive. Each year she sees faculty and staff donate toys, but it’s when she sees students finding a way to donate that warms her heart. “Students do what it takes to make the extra cash needed to buy and donate a toy,” said Welton. “It’s important to them, and that says a lot about the character of our students.”
Also in attendance for the day’s events was Marine Corps Toys for Tots Coordinator, Larry DeVelvis. The Marine Corp joined Santa Claus, and Santa’s little helper – UF’s service dog Mishka for Christmas music and pictures, while toys were continuing to be dropped off.
DeVelvis and the Marine Corps are celebrating 75 years of Toys for Tots, something he never thought he’d be doing. “I served in Vietnam in 1970, and I never dreamed that after being out of the Corps for 51 years, that I would still be working with the Marine Corps,” said DeVelvis. After creating Christmas Magic for kids year after year, DeVelvis said he finds it hard to put into words, managing to say “It’s simply amazing!”
DeVelvis and the U.S. Marine Corps will now partner with Hancock County’s Salvation Army and CHOPIN Hall to distribute toys to Hancock County children this holiday season. If you were unable to attend, but would still like to donate to Toys for Tots, please visit the following link for a list of all donation locations and drop off boxes in Hancock County.