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Last updateFri, 23 Feb 2018 12am







    Thursday, February 22, 2018-3:14:12A.M.






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Saipan now included in Marines’ Toys for Tots program

THE Toys for Tots a program of U.S. Marines Corps Reserve will include Saipan starting this year, Marine Corps Activity Guam public affairs officer Maj. Timothy Patrick told the Rotary Club of Saipan on Tuesday.

“This is the first time the Toys for Tots of the Marines Corps Reserve has ever been out here,” Patrick said.

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Marine Corps Activity Guam public affairs officer Maj. Timothy Patrick talks about the Toys for Tots program during the Rotary Club of Saipan meeting, Tuesday.  Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

He said it was the first time in 70 years that the program has been opened outside the mainland U.S.

“Toys for Tots is an international program, but geographically speaking this is the farthest reach,” he said, as he asked the support of local businesses.

“We really rely on local businesses and charitable organizations to make this program happen,” he added.

The program collects new toys for distribution to the less fortunate children in the community during the Christmas season.

In 2015, Patrick said they collected 18 million toys throughout the U.S., including Puerto Rico, Guam and the District of Columbia, and these were distributed to 7 million children.

On Guam, he said the program has been implemented for the past nine years. In the previous two years, he added, they collected 5,000 toys.

The Guam businesses community and high schools have been very supportive of the program, Patrick said. “We were so successful in the last two years that we were able to bring toys to Tinian where the gifts were well received.”

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce and the Saipan Young Professional are involved in carrying out the program and have placed several collections boxes in different areas on island, Patrick said.

“Our program has done lots of good worldwide,” he added. “It is very unique because at the execution level, 100 percent of the donations will go straight to the recipients.”