Mansfield ISD’s large community event that brings in thousands of toys and thousands of dollars to help children have a brighter holiday season was back in person and larger than ever.
The annual Toys for Tots Community Drive was held Dec. 1 at the Dr. Jim Vaszauskas Center for the Performing Arts.
Attendees were encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy and then stay for all the free and fun attractions. Some of the highlights were the student performances, pony rides, petting zoo, kiddie train, snow hill rides, bounce houses, photos with Santa, games and crafts, and more.
This year was especially special because the MISD event turned 10 years old. Event organizers said it was amazing to celebrate a decade of giving.
“We’re super excited that we’ve been able to do this for 10 years now. We have been working very hard,” said Flo Torres, director of the center. “Every year, all of our schools and our students get together and do different competitions in school to collect the toys and bring them here to support the Toys for Tots organization, managed by the Marine Corp. Every year, it gets bigger and better, and that’s what we’re so excited today to be able to celebrate—the gift of giving.”
Approximately 20,000 toys and $15,000 were donated for Toys for Tots through the MISD event. Superintendent Dr. Kimberley Cantu said it is a community effort that displays the true heart of MISD’s community members.
“We have so many community partners that just pour so much love into this event through service, through financial donations, through donations of toys, and of giving their time as well,” noted Dr. Cantu. “We have so many that are out here with us tonight just serving our community and giving back.”
Last year, MISD’s Toys for Tots Community Drive event was conducted in a drive-thru fashion due to COVID-19. Michelle Newsom, MISD’s school board president, stated that it was a good to see everyone back together again and having a great time.
“This is a great event this year, especially after the past few years with all that’s been going on,” she said. “It’s been a great time for our community to come together. We’re very excited to get to celebrate together this year and do something to really benefit the community.”
Toys for Tots was founded in 1947 by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. The Marines distribute the donated toys they collect in October, November and December to children all over the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
MISD partners with the Marines and FOX 4 News to make the MISD Toys for Tots Community Drive memorable for all. Since its inception, approximately 200,000 toys and tens of thousands of dollars have been donated for the cause.
The event sponsors for 2021 were Texas Trust Credit Union, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Kennedale Mansfield Plumbing, Mansfield Pediatrics, Navy Federal Credit Union and Texas Health Physicians Group.
Those who still want to drop off a toy or monetary donation for Toys for Tots can do so through Tuesday, Dec. 7 at the Dr. Jim Vaszauskas Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1110 W. Debbie Lane in Mansfield.