A Virginia company is helping Fairfax County Fire and Rescue try to meet its Toys for Tots goal for 2018.
“The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has been partnering with the Marines' Toys for Tots program for almost 16 years now,” Battalion Chief Willie Bailey said.
“We push to get them anywhere from two to three tractor-trailer loads of toys, and the firefighters just enjoy it,” he said.
The toys they collect are for the Toys for Tots Quantico campaign.
They collected almost 95,000 toys throughout Northern Virginia last year and still ran out.
And the Marines need even more help this year. With the liquidation of Toys R Us, Toys for Tots lost one of its biggest sponsors.
Not only did the iconic toy store chain donate millions of dollars to Toys for Tots, it collected toys at its hundreds of locations.
That’s where UNITS Moving & Portable Storage of Northern Virginia is stepping in to help.
“UNITS are a godsend,” U.S. Marines Gunnery Sgt. Mack Stuckey said.
The company is donating at least 20 of its large portable containers for storage at toy collection sites.
Owner Eric Miller has been a supporter of toys for tots for more than 25 years and wanted to help.
“They said, 'You are just what we've been looking for. We lost our partner; we weren't sure how we were going to operate this year,'” Miller said.
Once a container is filled, UNITS will pick it up and deliver it to the warehouse.
“It's going to save them a lot of fuel, a lot of mileage and what they've told us is that's going to enable them to be in a position where they can take the money they had allocated for mileage and for fuel and they can buy more toys,” Miller said.
Stuckey said Miller's generosity will save the charity thousands of dollars so the Marines can carry on their 71-year tradition of spreading holiday cheer to those in need.
“As Marines, we get a lot of recognition for this campaign, but the truth of the matter is, you know, it's a joint effort,” he said. “It won't be successful without the public.”
Toys for Tots did receive money from Toys R Us this year because the toy store had already raised the money before going out of business, so next year could prove to be an even bigger challenge.