January 5, 2018
Italian and American holiday traditions came together again for the second year when U.S. Marines from the Marine Security Guard Detachment at the U.S. Consulate General in Naples returned to local NGO ‘La Tenda’ as part of the “Toys for Tots” program. Owen, Jacob, Anthony, and Andrew visited a youth community center located in the Sanità district of Naples that has operated for more than 15 years in support of disadvantaged children and teenagers, to distribute toys, play, and sing together in anticipation of the Italian festival of Befana. The children were exuberant in the Marines’ return and enjoyed a great time with fun and games. In addition, the Alderwoman for Welfare of the Comune di Napoli participated to the event.
The mission of “Toys for Tots” is to collect new, unwrapped toys each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The initiative was born in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks founded “Toys for Tots” in Los Angeles, California. During the first campaign before Christmas 1947, 5,000 toys were collected, the first being a handmade doll.