Letters to the Editor

Thanks for Christmas past

As we shovel our way out from under an unusual but impressive January snowstorm we thought, we would take a moment to express our thanks to Whidbey Island for its overwhelming generosity.

As the Local Coordinating Officer (LCO) for Toys For Tots (TFT) on Whidbey Island, my wife and I were responsible for the effort that served 1,852 children on our island in 2011. It is TFT’s goal to provide each child in need on the island with at least one quality toy. We cannot do that without the active and involved support of the Whidbey Island community. As the TFT program operates solely on Whidbey Island we are much more limited in the opportunities to collect toys and donations than other TFT groups in the more populated portions of the state.

It would be impossible for TFT to be as successful as we have been in the last two years without the participation of many groups on the island. The Marines of MATSG-53, the sailors of FRCNW and the Marine Corps League Detachment 1210 collected the contributions at the Clinton ferry dock. Veteran and active duty Marines supported TFT collections at the Navy Northwest Regional Band concert at Oak Harbor High School, at the OHHS Band and Choral concerts, and at various banks and businesses.

Special thanks go to G & C Boehm, Inc. who provided the van and drivers needed to move toys around the island. Along with the toys, cash donations amounted to $7,051, doubling the $3,512 collected in 2010! This enabled us to provide toys to 150 more children than in the prior year.

The distribution of the toys is handled by the Readiness To Learn agency through their “Holiday House” locations in South and Central Whidbey, by the Soroptimists’ “Tree of Hope” in the North, the Fostering Together organization for Whidbey Island, the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society and the Island County Children’s Protective Services agency. We are extremely grateful to them for that support.

It should be remembered that EVERYTHING collected on this island stays on Whidbey Island. Again, we are so grateful to our island community for opening their hearts to make this Christmas a special one for all of our children.

Mike and Re McClung


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