Bright Christmas mornings ahead, thanks to Toys for Tots

PUNXSUTAWNEY —The Toys for Tots distribution was held Wednesday at Gobblers Knob by Community Action Inc., so children will receive gifts for Christmas.

Community Action has been the primary sponsor, along with the U.S. Marine Corps, for more than 10 years in Jefferson County, said Janeen Love, Senior Corps RSVP director.

Love said there were a total of 160 families from Jefferson County who were helped by Toys for Tots, with a total of 330 children who will receive gifts.

According to the Toys for Tots Web site, “The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.”

Love said Toys for Tots is a county-wide program in conjunction with the Marines to collect brand new toys for kids who are less fortunate.

“All the toys were collected in Jefferson County and are distributed only in Jefferson County,” Love said, adding that Femco Machine in Punxsutawney and McCabe Drug in Brookville were the main sponsors for the toy drive.

“Without Toys for Tots, there are a lot kids who might not receive anything for Christmas,” she said. “The more donations we receive, the more gifts we’re able to give.”

Love said the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club donated the use of its hall at Gobbler’s Knob for the toy distribution.

Barbara Trunzo and John Pentz, of Brockway, have seven children, and they can’t afford to buy more than one gift per child, if even that.

Trunzo said they learned of the Toys for Tots campaign through Community Action.

Pentz said he and Trunzo do have a list, but they also want to surprise their children with a few extra toys.

Love said the toys are divided into sections for boys, girls and younger children.
Toys for Tots was assisted by several agencies this year, including Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging, Early Head Start, Family Literacy and the Local Education Resource Network (LEARN) Project, she said.

Love said there are some leftover toys, and if anyone who did not sign up, or wasn’t aware of the Toys For Tots campaign, and would still like to participate, he or she should contact Community Action at 938-3302 to obtain toys right up until Christmas Eve.