Merlin, OR ― On December 18, 2010, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office Volunteer and Reserve Units assisted the Marine Corps Reserve with its annual Toys for Tots giveaway event at Merlin School.
John Lewis, vice-chair of the Sheriff’s Office Volunteer Unit, arrived early and saw that some people had camped there overnight. “The line never seemed to end,” he says.
Reserve Deputy Chuck Patton, who also volunteered his time, says at first there was some tension in the crowd. People were concerned others were cutting in line. “We got people calmed down and back into the Christmas Spirit. After that it seemed like everyone was in a good mood.”
And there were plenty of toys to go around. According to Toys for Tots coordinator Celeste Guillory, Josephine County provided 1362 children each with at least four toys for Christmas.
The Sheriff’s Office Merlin substation is one of many locations in the community that hosts a toy collection box where citizens can contribute gifts starting in October each year. The Marine Corps Reserve asks for donations of new, unwrapped toys for all ages.
The Sheriff’s Office is proud to have participated in this impressive and heart-warming program for the past five years. Coordinator Guillory says, “Each year we have more deputies on-site and appreciate their presence very much.”