’Tis the season for some Metro Magic

One of the hundreds of children we were able to help last year unwraps a gift 
donated by a Metro reader.
EMILY ANNE EPSTEIN/METRO

Let the holiday giving season begin! Metro is thrilled to announce the launch of our 2011 Metro Magic giving campaign. As the gift-giving season begins, we are again asking our daily readers to give back to needy children in the Philadelphia region.

Metro first launched Metro Magic last year, in New York only. We were so overwhelmed by the generosity of Metro readers that this year, for the first time ever, we are launching the toy drive in Boston and Philadelphia as well. Toys raised from readers in each city will only go to nonprofits in that city.

Here in Philadelphia, we are partnering with Toys for Tots, the nonprofit run by the U.S. Marines. Marines from Delaware County and Philadelphia will come to our office in mid-December to pick up the toys and distribute them to the hundreds of charities they partner with.

“Toys for Tots is run by the Marines across the country,” Staff Sgt. Ricky Wilson said yesterday from his office in Folcroft. “We [here] distribute to parts of Philadelphia and all of Delaware County.”

Starting today, and running all through this month and December, we will remind readers to give. So keep an eye out for the Metro Magic logo daily.

This season, we hope you will remember the thousands of children who will be spending the holidays in homeless shelters and safe houses, or who simply may not have that many gifts to open under the Christmas tree.           

What is Toys for Tots?

Toys for Tots started in 1947, when a group of U.S. Marine reservists got together and cleaned up small toys and gave them away to needy families. Now it’s one of the biggest nonprofits in the nation.
   
Toys for Tots works by giving away the toys they collect to other nonprofits in the greater Philadelphia region.
   
Last year they got 600 requests from charities to receive toys and have drop-off boxes set up throughout the city. 

What to give as gifts?

Metro is collecting new, unwrapped gifts, not clothes. Things like action figures, dolls, board games, and sports toys like a football are always good. And don’t forget about older children, ages 11 and up. An older child would love to receive an MP3 player, a make-up kit or a poster from their favorite “Twilight” movie this year. And you don’t have to give much. Spending $10 or $20 on a toy or two for a needy child can make a big difference.

How to take part

Go to ToysRUs.com and click on Wish List. Under “Find A Wish List,” search by “Wish List #.” Enter the code 31155093. This will take you to Metro Philly’s Wish List! Once there, you can see all the toys we’ve already requested for kids and more are being added daily. Simply select the toys you want and purchase them. That’s it!

Selecting only the toys on our wish list ensures that all the gifts will be shipped to our offices and then picked up by the Marines.

If you donate, e-mail us at charity@metro.us letting us know what you gave and we’ll shout out a “thank-you” in the paper! 


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