The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and the U.S. Marine Corps on Sunday, led by Tanya Snyder, presented a $40,000 check to the Toys For Tots Foundation.*
The combined efforts of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and U.S. Marine Corps this year brought a lot of joy to families throughout the area.
The culmination of both organizations' hard work took place on Sunday, during pregame of the Redskins-Packers playoff game, when Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Staff Sgt. Steve Nutter and Cpl. Geoffrey Earle II stood at midfield for a check presentation.
Through two games of fundraising – first on Dec. 7 against the Cowboys, when fans were encouraged to drop off toys or monetary donations entering the stadium, second on Dec. 20 against the Bills, when half the proceeds of the Charitable Foundation's 50/50 raffle went to the Toys For Tots Foundation – $40,000 was raised, which can be used to purchase 3,333 toys for deserving children in our community.
The WRCF, US Marine Corps and Toys For Tots Foundation worked hand-in-hand during the entire holiday season.
On Nov. 30, Redskins players joined Marines and Prince George's County police officers and firefighters to assemble more than 200 children's bicycles, which were delivered to families in need in late December.
The Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The WRCF has partnered with the organization for more than 10 years; it is one of many partnerships the Foundation has in the community that helps improve the lives of those in need.
"We've done the Toys for Tots campaign for many years, but this is the first year we've ever done the bike build," said Jane Rodgers, Executive Director of the WRCF, at the event. "We are excited because it's a great way to launch the December holiday season."
Later in the month, on Dec. 14 at FedExField, the annual "Skins Santa Shoppe" was re-designed and incorporated more activities and holiday cheer.
Cleaned up and decorated with Christmas colors, tables of toys and stuffed animals, and filled with some holiday music, the Redskins locker room, with the help of active duty Marines, welcomed 200 local elementary students, who filed in group by group to greet Santa Claus, Redskins players and rush to a locker with their name above it and gifts beneath it.
Each group visited a different station before rotating to the next. The activities involved a photo booth with Redskins cheerleaders and a cupcake decorating station. Another one included wrapping players in red and white streamers to decorate each of them as Santa Claus.
"The Charitable Foundation does such a good job of finding these schools that really need our help," said Kiersten Allen, wife of Redskins President Bruce Allen. "Each one of the [students] didn't know what to expect, so watching them go to each station, and they're just so excited, they can't imagine that they actually get a gift at the end as well."