AIKEN, S.C. (December 7, 2018) – Nearly 400,000 toys have been collected since 1991 for area children by Savannah River Site (SRS) employees to benefit the annual Toy for Tots and Angel Tree campaign.
“We enjoy and appreciate our partnership with the primary contractor companies at SRS,” said Staff Sergeant Gregory Allen, U.S. Marine Corps. "Every year we're surrounded by an incredible number of toys and bikes during the SRS Toys for Tots celebration and truck loading event. I'm continually amazed with the depth of their generosity."
Supporting the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program to benefit less fortunate children in the Central Savannah River Area has been an important tradition at SRS.
“It's such a thrill to think about all the children who will have a special Christmas this year, that otherwise, without this campaign, would not have happened,” said SRS Toys for Tots Chairperson and Savannah River Nuclear Solution’s (SRNS) employee Natalia Johnson. "For me, this tells the story of what Christmas gift giving is truly about."
Johnson noted that the SRS total contribution for the 2018 Toys for Tots Campaign was $30,000 in donations, which contributed to the purchase over 17,000 toys and 400 bikes, in addition to the donated toys.
SRNS, Savannah River Remediation (SRR) and Centerra provide corporate monetary gifts to further add to the success of each year’s toy drive.
For the eighteenth year, employees also sponsored the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, enabling SRS employees to adopt 625 area children, giving toys and clothing items specifically to Angel Tree recipients.
“SRS employees embrace the idea that giving truly brings happiness, not only to the receiver but the giver,” said Teresa Sheppard, SRR Toys for Tots and Angel Tree Coordinator. “The SRS family supports many charities throughout the year, and it’s always special to end the year by putting smiles on children's faces through the Toys for Tots and Angel Tree programs.”
The annual event is managed by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC and supported by the Department of Energy-Savannah River; National Nuclear Security Administration-Savannah River; Savannah River Remediation LLC; Centerra Group, LLC; Augusta Building Trades; and Parsons. These companies and employees contribute in a variety of ways, from donating toys to making monetary contributions.
At the close of each year’s SRS Toys for Tots celebration, trucks full of presents leave the site in parade formation led by Santa Claus heading for multiple Salvation Army locations where the gifts will be sorted. Aiken Marines then distribute the gifts to children in Aiken, Allendale, Barnwell and Edgefield counties, as well as the towns of North Augusta, Beech Island, Belvedere, Williston, Salley and Couchton. The Marines from Augusta supply toys to Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Hancock, Jefferson, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, Richmond, Taliaferro, Warren, Washington and Wilkes counties and the town of Wrens.
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