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Toys for Tots does more than brighten kids' Christmas
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Editor, Children are one of our nation’s most valuable resources.  Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders – civic, business and social. Alarmingly, approximately 13 million American children live in poverty.  Studies reveal that growing up in poverty can have an adverse psychological impact on a child.  One of the adverse impacts is low self-esteem — a by-product of little or no hope for the future.
Each child has a choice of two paths to the future. One path leads to a productive life as an asset to the community. The other path leads to a life of dependency on the community for support. Without outside help, the path of least resistance is too often the path to a life of dependency.
The critical social issue is the identification and pursuit of programs, which will create or raise the self-esteem of children, give them hope for the future and help steer them toward productive lives. One of the best means of dealing with these poverty by-products is through mentoring programs. Since it is not possible for all children who live in poverty situations to have the benefit of mentoring programs, alternative means of doing the job must be pursued. Fortunately, alternative programs exist. Toys for Tots is one such alternative. It is a unique passive mentoring program that provides a ray of hope for the future.
The new toy which millions of needy children receive each Christmas through the Toys for Tots program delivers a message of hope. By being excellent role models and setting an example for others to emulate through Toys for Tots our community performs passive mentoring. Economically disadvantaged children who receive toys through the Toys for Tots program have an opportunity to observe firsthand how young men and women, just like themselves, have achieved success.
Unfortunately, there are no studies that present concrete evidence to support the positive impact Toys for Tots has on children. However, experts, who are knowledgeable about Toys for Tots, conclude that Toys for Tots has the potential to have the requisite positive influence on the development of needy youngsters. Concurrently, actual accounts from individuals reveal that Toys for tots has motivated youngsters to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.
If you reflect on your own life and recall what it meant to receive a toy at Christmas, you cannot help but realize the positive impact that a new toy had on your life. Concurrently, you can imagine how devastating it would have been to receive nothing while all your friends received a new toy. Many may recall when a neighbor received nothing at Christmas because his or her family was experiencing hard times. It is painful to think about the impact a Christmas without a toy had on the child and how adversely it impacted on his or her self-esteem and future. Some never recovered and ultimately never realized their potential.
Just as each needy child has a choice of two paths to the future, each American has a choice: leave the responsibility of helping needy children to someone else; or take action to enhance the development and proper steering of American’s needy children. Most American adults want to make a difference. The problem is how to help, given the hectic pace of the lifestyle of Toys for Tots does more than brighten kids’ holiaysthe 2000’s. Toys for Tots offers a simple solution for even the busiest American.
If you would like to give to Toys for Tots locally please call 368-4282 or see If you would like to volunteer your time please call 368-4282 or email

Leah Poole
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