Just in time for the holidays, colorful toys of all shapes and sizes filled the lobby at Cooney & Conway, ready to be passed on to children in the community. Staff members made this possible by joining together to fill up a Toys for Tots collection box, to help ensure that every child would receive a gift this Christmas.
“Christmas is such a magical time for children,” said Alison Heise, Legal Assistant to Kevin J. Conway and a member of the Cooney & Conway Charity Committee, which organized the firm’s involvement with Toys for Tots. “We wanted to be able to provide a little magic and happiness for children whose parents may not be able to provide that magic this year due to circumstances that children should not have to worry about,” Heise continued.
This spirit of sharing and care is exactly what Toys for Tots promotes. A non-profit organization, Toys for Tots was founded in 1947 with a mission to provide hope for children in need. It was adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps the following year. During the same period, Walt Disney created the recognizable Toys for Tots logo, featuring a red train. The program expanded internationally just over a decade later. It has continued to thrive for the last 67 years, even during economic downturns in the country.
New, unwrapped toys are accepted in collection bins around communities each holiday season, which are picked up by the Marines before Christmas. After the toys are sorted by age, the Marines work with local charities, church groups, and social welfare agencies to distribute the toys to children in need in communities throughout the country.
The Cooney & Conway Charity Committee plans to make the firm’s Toys for Tots drive an annual holiday event, to make it easy for employees to help give back to the community.
“Many people are aware of the Toys for Tots program, but it isn’t easy or convenient for them to find a location and go to drop off a toy,” Heise explained. “We discovered that if we provided a receptacle, we could hold the drive here at the office, and Toys for Tots would just pick up the donations.”
Based on the enthusiastic response from staff members, who did not hold back when it came to donating toys, an annual Toys for Tots drive at the office has already become a welcome new tradition.