WILLISTON, Vt. – As the Federal Emergency Management Agency wraps up its mission in Vermont, its personnel are trying to leave behind some holiday cheer for the state’s less fortunate children.
As part of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, staffers at FEMA’s Joint Field Office in Williston have collected new toys to be distributed on Christmas to area children.
“Some FEMA staffers have been in Vermont since before Tropical Storm Irene,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Landry, the head of FEMA’s Vermont operations. “This state has been their home away from home, and the way its people have welcomed us it only seems right to give back in this way.”
This is the second holiday season that FEMA has participated in the Toys for Tots Program, which collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community.
The toys collected by the roughly 30 FEMA staffers in Williston will be delivered to Toys R Us in Williston, which is the collection point for the local campaign.
“It’s always fun to see the box fill up as people bring in their toys, and then to see folks taking a peek at what’s on top and playing with some toys,” said Robin Anderson, a FEMA staffer from Kenmore, Washington who organized the collection. “It really brings out the kid in all of us, and gets everyone in the spirit of the season, which is all about giving.”
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.