Several years ago at Christmastime, Kathleen Hansen, a Lehi resident, and her neighbors decided they would use their energy and resources for Christmas service projects in lieu of exchanging gifts with each other.
This year, the neighbors are providing toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots project. When Hansen contacted the Marines, they said they will provide toys for over 10,000 children in Utah County alone.
“The members of the 19th and 20th wards have really been excited about the project to supply toys for families. One individual donated $1,000 and another donated twelve Baby Alive dolls worth over $50 each. We started the project in October and the energy and excitement to donate grew as the holidays drew near,” said Hansen.
Sgt. Diaz, local director for the Toys for Tots program, was thrilled when he saw the toys collected by two wards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Marines had brought several large collection boxes but had to go and procure many more boxes. The toys will be taken to Camp Williams, where they will be sorted by age. Parents will then be invited to come and “shop” for their families. The families have applied through the Toys for Tots program, and no money will be needed.
According to Hansen, this has been the most successful service project for the wards yet. “We will definitely do this another year,” said Hansen.