For the 15th holiday season in a row, local nonprofit Operation Toy Train will roll out its special train to collect toy donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation benefiting underprivileged children.
This year, the train has added stops in western Connecticut, eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey to the longstanding operations in northern New Jersey and southern New York.
From November to December, the train aims to collect more than 30,000 toys from 36 locations in four states.
In addition to using its specialized railroad equipment, Operation Toy Train partners with several local railroads and nonprofit organizations that donate their rail cars, personnel and time to operate the train.
This year, the collection train will operate over 200 miles on seven railroads in four states between Nov. 12 and Dec. 16, including three stationary events.
Members of the public are encouraged to visit the train at any of its stops to donate new toys in their original packaging (no gift wrapping).
At each stop, they may participate in activities sponsored by the towns and local businesses, meet Santa Claus, view a variety of historic railroad equipment, and meet members of the Marine Corps and the Operation Toy Train program.
For those who can’t make it to one of the train’s stops, local businesses and organizational partners near each stop have received large Toys for Tots collection boxes where they can collect toy donations in advance and deliver them to the train.
After the toys are delivered to the Marines, they are redistributed as holiday gifts to underprivileged and less fortunate children in the communities where the campaigns are conducted.
To sponsor, donate to or participate in Operation Toy Train, go online to www.OperationToyTrain.org or send email to email@example.com
Operation Toy Train is a nonprofit organization, and all financial donations are tax-deductible. Funds are used to support the organization’s toy collection operations and the maintenance and upkeep of its specialized railroad equipment.