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Toys for Tots : The Marine Corps’ annual fund drive urges toy screening due to recent recalls

By Cpl. James M. Mercure | | December 6, 2007

Since the first Raggedy Ann Doll was given to the newly founded Toys for Tots charity organization by the Marine Corps Reserve in 1947, Americans have stepped up to donate millions of toys for needy children across the country.

 In light of the recent recalls involving toys with lead paint or small parts that could become choking hazards, Toys for Tots is asking individuals that plan to donate during the holiday season to screen their toys for any items that have been recalled.

 “Make sure toys are purchased from a major retailer,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Frappier, the Toys for Tots coordinator for the Lowcountry. “When in doubt, don’t buy it unless you would want your own child to play with it.”

 The recall involves various figures and toys that were manufactured between April 19, through July 6, 2007 and were sold alone or as part of sets, according to a press release by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

 “Donors just need to be aware of what (toys) have been recalled,” said Brian Murray, vice president of operations for the Toys for Tots Foundation. “They need to be careful when they shop.”

 Donors are asked to give new and unwrapped toys for sanitary and inspection purposes and to make distribution easier.

 “We ask that donors drop off new toys, because of cleanliness issues among used toys in the past,” Frappier explained. “Also, cash and check donations should only be given to Marines in uniform at the drop-off location to alleviate confusion or doubt.”

 A list of the toys that were affected by the recall can be found onwww.cpsc.gov, or service.mattel.com/us/, according to Murray.

 For more information, log on to the Toys for Tots Web site atwww.toysfortots.org or call Staff Sgt. Frappier at (912) 315-3543.