For the third year in a row, employees of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport have donated toys to the US Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign, collecting 1,023 gifts for children in need. The toy drive has overtaken last year’s drive, though many employees are still telecommuting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Each year, Toys for Tots relies on local businesses and communities to support their goal of collecting new unwrapped toys and distributing them to less fortunate children in the community. The campaign aims to provide three to four toys for each child in a family who have applied for the program.
Patricia Tavares, Toys for Tots coordinator for the Newport division, said participating in the program is an important way for employees to give back to the community.
âCollecting 1,023 toys means we put a smile on the faces of around 255 children for the holidays,â Tavares said. âIt has been another year of struggles for so many and knowing that we have helped so many children warms my heart.
“The outpouring of support this year has been incredible, from the employees who helped pack boxes, distribute boxes, pick up toys, sort toys and load the toys into the box truck.” , Tavares said. âI couldn’t do this without great colleagues and the support of management. It’s amazing how many employees want to volunteer.
The Toys for Tots campaign, which began on November 18, involves organizing volunteers and 18 collection sites, obtaining collection boxes and placing them throughout the Newport Division campus.
This year it was difficult to get Toys for Tots donation boxes because they were out of stock. Tavares therefore contacted his colleague Greg DeLuca and he was able to provide boxes from a local shipping office. Tavares and his team wrapped the boxes with Christmas paper to make them more festive.
One building was not listed as a collection site, but employees created their own donation box there. They recovered one of two donated bikes from the driveway, a children’s drawing board, and many toys.
âI want people to be able to donate more easily,â Tavares said. âI am amazed at the generosity. I was hoping to beat the 972 total of toys from last year’s collection and we did. A big thank you to everyone who donated. “
Volunteers from the Corporate Operations Department, who assisted Tavares for this year’s campaign, include Todd Cabral, John DiMaio, Paul Furtado, Sam Lloyd, James McGuire, Seth Tilley, Doug Gilmore, Liz Gilmore, Greg DeLuca, Rob Davis, Mark Jasper and Matt Travisono; and Anthony Cataldo of the Department of Submarine Warfare Combat Systems. Support was also received from entrepreneurs Pam Zoraian, Ryan McLarney, Tammy Condry, James Reilly, Isaiah Brown, Joseph Markman, Mark Carter and Julia Bell Holloman.
For more information on how to donate toys to children in need, visit the Toys for Tots Foundation website at www.toysfortots.org.
The NUWC Newport Division is a US Navy shore-based command within Naval Sea Systems Command, which designs, builds and supports the US fleet of combat ships and systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, testing and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous submarine systems, submarine offensive and defensive weapons systems and countermeasures associated with submarine warfare.
NUWC Newport is the oldest war center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Captain Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains large detachments at West Palm Beach, in Florida and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.
Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of Rhode Island’s 20 largest employers, employs a diverse, highly skilled, educated and skilled workforce. We are always looking for engineers, scientists and other STEM professionals, as well as talented experts in business, finance, logistics and others who want to be at the forefront of underwater research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting on this site- https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NUWC-Newport/Career-Opportunities/ and follow us on LinkedIn @ NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.