Ivey Ranch HOA residents in Thousand Palms donated a record number of toys this year to the Twentynine Palms Marine Corp Base annual Toy for Tots charity drive.
Filling 15 bins of toys for all ages plus six bicycles and Tony Hawk Skateboards more than doubled what an average year's donations would be, according James Litman, volunteer coordinator for the area. The total from Ivey Ranch was more than 465 toys.
First Sgt. Dan Julian presented the Ivey Ranch HOA the Commander’s Award for the organization's longtime contribution to the Toys for Tots program.
One of the changes made this year since the HOA Social Club took over the program was to initiate a financial donation account for those who wanted to contribute but were unable to go toy shopping. That change led to the collection of $1,600, which included an anonymous donation of $1,000. All the money received went to the purchase of toys and bikes for Toys for Tots.
In addition, when it was discovered that the Thousand Palms Fire Station was not planning to collect toys this year, Litman got the bins moved to the Tri-Palms HOA Clubhouse, thanks to the efforts of Tri-Palms resident Sandy Tung, and within a very short time they had collected 178 toys in addition to those gathered by Ivey Ranch members.
This is the 74th year of the U.S. Marines national program that strives to ensure no child in need goes without a gift for the holiday. According to Julian, who heads the program for the Twentynine Palms Marine Base, the Marines expect to give out more than 24,000 toys this year to more than 7,000 children in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
For more information on the Toys for Tots program, visit 29-palms-ca.toysfortots.org.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Ivey Ranch HOA residents collect record donations for Toys for Tots