by Rick Winterson


“Toys for Tots” for Greater Boston is located here in South Boston.  It’s on the Eighth Floor of the Design Center (formally called the “Innovation and Design Building”) at 21 Drydock Avenue.  You can visit there to drop off donated toys, which are then distributed by U.S. Marine Corps personnel working there, along with many, many volunteers.  The total effect of the “Toys for Tots” annual efforts at Christmastime are nothing short of colossal.

Last Tuesday, November 20, Mayor of Boston Martin J. Walsh took some time from his own busy Holiday schedule to visit “Toys for Tots” in the Design Center.  He took a brief tour of the facility, along with Vinnie Dolan and Major DeVries, USMC, who came in from the 1st Battalion stationed at Fort Devens.  The Mayor received a plaque form Major DeVries that recognized Walsh for all of his support for “Toys for Tots” over the years.

In his remarks, the Mayor mentioned all of the hard work that the “Toys for Tots” volunteers perform, and thanked them and the U.S. Marine Corps for such a massive achievement and community good work.  He mentioned that “even in good times like now, there’s hardship.”

There’s a risk in using too many numbers, but the “Toys for Tots” achievements are best measured with the stupendous numbers they have complied over the years.  First of all, “Toys for Tots” has been in existence for just over 70 years – ever since 1947.  They occupy a very large space on the eighth floor of the Design Center at 21 Drydock Avenue, here in South Boston.  This space is 150 feet by 150 feet, which amounts to 22,500 square feet – more than half an acre of toys, stretching from one end of their space to the other.   Can you imagine a half acre filled with toys?

In the “Toys for Tots” lifetime – the 71 years since 1947 – the organization has distributed 542 million (542,000,000) toys to more than 200 million (200,000,000) kids.   Stupendous, isn’t it?  South Boston Online wants to wish them, and all of you, a very Merry Christmas.