Make the holidays special for a tot

staff reports

Santa’s sleigh needs to be filled again, and TJCA students are collecting toys for underprivileged tots. The program runs October 1 through December 15, and LCDR Darrell Keller is hoping TJCA students will be filled with Christmas joy and surpass previous years’ donations.

“We feel like we need to help the Marine Corps give toys to children who otherwise wouldn’t have presents,” Keller said.”Last year we collected enough books that every child involved in Rutherford County involved in the program was able to get 4 books each.”

Keller said Toys for Tots is looking for infant toys aged 0-12 months and new unwrapped toys for children 12 and younger. Students are encouraged to drop off toy donations in boxes located around campus.

“Toys for Tots is a charity near and dear to my heart because of my military background,” Keller explained. “I am most familiar with it, and because Rutherford County has a chapter, I contacted them to see if we (Thomas Jefferson) could be a part of it.”

According to, the organization has been “delivering a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters” since 1947, distributing 548 million toys to 251 million children. The organization encourages participants to share how the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program has delivered Christmas in their communities so they can help even more children this Christmas.