This Christmas season will bring a change for many local families. The Marine Corps League Detachment #1385 Past Jr. Commandant and Toys for Tots Coordinator Chris Guiterrez has announced that after a decade of serving the community’s children the detachment will no longer organize the Toys for Tots program in Montgomery and Eastern Macoupin Counties.
“We want to thank all of the local businesses that allowed collection boxes to be placed at their locations and that gave monetary donations. The detachment is grateful to all of our sponsors, donors and of course Santa Claus for everything they did to make the program successful for so many years,” said Guiterrez. “We also thank the Hillsboro Moose Lodge #1377 for allowing the detachment to distribute toys from their hall for many years and the Hillsboro United Methodist Church for allowing us to use their fellowship hall to hand out toys last year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
However, as the Toys for Tots chapter ends local communities will continue their own outreach missions to ensure that all children have something special under their trees at Christmas. Melanie Sherer and Kyle Cameron are stepping back in to reprise the Angel Tree program they previously ran, for children within the Hillsboro School District, for over ten years before taking a hiatus three years ago.
“There wasn’t a need for multiple programs and we didn’t want the projects to compete with each other so we decided to take a break from the Angel Tree program with the understanding that if the Marine Detachment ever felt the need to step away from their outreach we would resume,” organizer Melanie Sherer explained. “We have kept our lines of communication open and when Chris reached out about the end of the Toys for Tots program we were ready to step back in.”
A meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, at the Event Center for anyone who would like to be on the committee and help with the outreach project. There are also plans to begin fundraising for the seasonal outreach project.
“Please support your local community programs as much and more than you did our Toys for Tots program,” Guiterrez implored. “Again, thank you to everyone that graciously supported the Marine Corps League #1385 Toys for Tots program for the last ten years.”
Those with questions about the Angel Tree program may contact Sherer at 217-556-8162.