I would like to thank the Suffolk County community for their generosity this holiday season in supporting my annual toy drive with the United States Marine Corp Reserveís Toys for Tots program. This yearís toy drive was a great success and, thanks to the publicís toy donations, over 100 area children will have a brighter holiday season.
I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the men and women of the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves. Without their tireless dedication to this program, it would not be possible. I would also like to thank the staff at the Center Moriches Library, which partnered with us this year as a toy drop-off location.
The Toys for Tots program began in 1947 when the wife of Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, asked her husband to deliver a doll to an organization that would give the toy to a needy child at Christmas. They discovered no such organization. Major Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists started the Toys for Tots program and delivered 5,000 toys to needy children that year.
Since 1948, the Toys for Tots program has been a national campaign to help deliver a message of hope to needy youngsters in order to motivate them to grow into responsible, productive and patriotic citizens. In the 59 years the program has been in operation, Marines have distributed more than 370 million toys to more than 173 million needy children.
As we all celebrate the holidays with our families and loved ones, I hope you will all continue to remember the true importance of the holiday season and be reminded that it is indeed truly better to give than receive.
Thank you all for your support of this program and I wish residents across Suffolk County a very safe and happy holiday and all the best in the New Year!