For the eleventh holiday season in a row, a special train will collect over 25,000 toys for the U.S. Marine Corps to benefit underprivileged children in northern New Jersey and southern New York.
This year, seven new collection locations are being added, in one of the biggest expansions to Operation Toy Train since its inception in 2009.
Operation Toy Train is operated each year to collect donated toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation, which distributes them as holiday gifts to underprivileged children in the communities where the campaign is conducted. Our train benefits the Toys for Tots efforts at Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, NJ and Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, NY.
Five railroads (and their personnel) donate time, equipment, and the use of their tracks to Operation Toy Train each year. Additional railroad equipment, funds, and volunteer staff come from a number of additional non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Members of the public are encouraged to donate new toys in their original packaging (no gift wrapping, please!) in October, November, and the first week of December. Near each stop, our local business and organizational partners have large Toys for Tots collection boxes.
The public may also visit the train itself to donate toys when it arrives at any of its 24 stops, meet Santa Claus, view a variety of working railroad equipment, and meet members of the Marine Corps and the Operation Toy Train program.
A full train schedule, list of collection points, and sponsor list are available on the Operation Toy Train website at www.OperationToyTrain.org.
Businesses, organizations, and individuals looking to sponsor, donate to, or participate in Operation Toy Train are also encouraged to visit the website to learn how to get involved. Operation Toy Train is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and financial donations are tax-deductible.