WHEELING, W.Va (WTRF) – After a 10-year hiatus, Toys for Tots is back in the Northern Panhandle and ready to help make every Ohio Valley child’s Christmas a special one.
When the Marine Corps Reserve station left the area in 2012, it left a gap.
A gap that is now being filled by John Labriola, who is the coordinator for Ohio, Brooke, and Hancock Counties.
And Jamie Faulkner who is the coordinator for the Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, and Harrison Counties. The program collects toy donations from the community that are then given to children right here in Ohio Valley.
“I moved to the area in 2019 when I joined the Marine Corps League here in 2022. We decided that we were going to bring the Toys for Tots program back simply because we haven’t been in the area for so long.”John Labriola | Toys for Tots Coordinator for Hancock, Brooke & Ohio Counties
“When children that aren’t used to receiving toys for Christmas or maybe their families can’t take care of that for them, and you give them items such as toys. I mean, whatever kid wants toys, it changes the look on their face. It makes you smile. People cry. It’s a good thing to do for the community and for these children to make a difference in their lives.”Jamie Faulkner | Toys for Tots Coordinator for Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler & Harrison Counties
The toys will be given out this December, both coordinators are still working to finalize dates and venues for distribution.
If you’re interested in requesting a toy, donating a toy (or money), or becoming a volunteer, visit the Toys for Tots West Virginia website. You can specify what county you want your toy or donation to go to, as well as which county you’d like to volunteer in.
If you’re an organization or business that is interested in keeping a box for toy collections, reach out to the Toys for Tots coordinator for your county.
To find your county coordinator and their contact information, just visit the Toys for Tots website and select your county from the drop menu.