Photo by Heather Middleton
By Linda Looney-Bond
Area residents have until Friday to donate new, unwrapped toys to the Toys for Tots campaign, at the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) collection site in Forest Park.
GSP post 47, located at 5036 Ga. Hwy 85, in Forest Park, is one of 48 posts across the state that are collecting toys for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, according to Georgia State Patrol Spokesperson Gordy Wright.
"This is the first year of the state-wide [GSP] effort," said Wright.
"Last year, the troops in eastern Georgia -- the posts from Conyers to Thompson, along I-20 -- participated in a troop effort. They were so successful last year that we expanded it to all of the posts, and teamed up with the Marine Corps Reserve," Wright said.
The Toys for Tots Program distributes toys, as Christmas gifts, to needy children in the communities in which the campaigns are conducted, according to the program's web site.
The Forest Park GSP post began collecting toys Nov. 18, according to Warren. Tuesday, the post had one large box of toys to donate. "The more toys the better, because some kids won't get anything for Christmas, and anything would help out greatly," said Sgt. James Warren, Acting Commander of Post 47.
"We've got an excellent response all over the state," said Wright. "As of noon today [Tuesday] -- at about 30 posts -- we had collected 1,182 toys," he said.
Wright said the metro-area GSP posts will bring the toys they collect to the Georgia Department of Public Safety Headquarters on East Confederate Avenue, in Atlanta, then the Marine Corps Reserve will pick up the toys and distribute them to underprivileged children.
"It's just an excellent opportunity --troopers collecting toys to help needy children. That's what the season's all about," said Wright.
New, unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the GSP Forest Park post, through Friday, Dec. 11, from 9 a.m., until 4 p.m., according to GSP officials.
For more information, contact the GSP Forest Park post at (404) 669-3969, and when prompted, press 3, then press 1.