The Saints and the New Orleans community are partnering with the national campaign Touchdown for Tots powered by Toys for Tots, a football-themed toy drive to help bring holiday cheer to the 16 million children living in poverty.
For more than 60 years, the U.S. Marine Corps has maintained a passion for Christmas and spreading that spirit to the underprivileged communities across the nation. In 1996, the U.S. Marine Corps expanded their organization to be hosted in all 50 states by a Marine Corps League Detachment or a Marine veteran. These locations allowed for a variety of communities to aim their program toward their individual needs. Today, Toys for Tots is present in more than 700 communities across all 50 states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
General Sergeant Huerta from the U.S. Marine Corps represented Toys for Tots on the field. He said that he is very excited to have the Saints support the organization's efforts locally.
"At the Toys for Tots drive yesterday, we collected close to 500 toys", said Huerta. "It's always great to give back to the community."
Huerta also says that the Marines have 10 scheduled toy drives this year.
"We will start giving out the gifts next Saturday," said Huerta. "We have two locations in each parish where we will drop off toys and distribute."
In 2010, the New Orleans Saints teamed up with Toys for Tots to launch the then-new campaign called "Touchdown for Tots." Fans were encouraged to deliver a new, unwrapped toy to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, text to donate monetarily, or were led to the Toys for Tots donation link. Touchdown for Tots is a huge success across 15 NFL teams creating a greater awareness for Toys for Tots during the holiday season and highlighting the importance of their efforts.
A Bike & Toy giveaway will take place at the Saints Training Faciltiy on December 23rd from 4:30pm-6pm. Any child who comes will be able to get two toys from the Marines/Saints on that day
For more information and to learn how to donate to the New Orleans Toys for Tots campaign, please visit www.new-orleans-la.toysfortots.org.