Marine on Toys for Tots: ‘Every year there’s a hug, there’s a thank you’


WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – Since this is the season of giving, the Marine Corps is out all weekend at the Toys ‘R Us location in Warwick with a toy collection drive for the “Toys for Tots Foundation.”

Marines in uniform were stationed outside the toy store taking donations Saturday, along with co-sponsors at 92 PRO-FM and HOT 106.

Toys ‘R Us has partnered with the foundation for the past eleven years, raising more than four million toys and $42 million dollars for donation.

“It’s just kind of a way to give back to the community,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Frank Impagliazzo, who saves his vacation time in order to stand in the cold and collect donations. “Just to give a little smile to a child and also the parent is struggling, and it’s a good way to put a smile on their face, too.”

Toys were being donated in truckloads, as well as single items.

“We just think it’s important to show others that – we may have a lot of things that other children may not so I thought it was a good idea for him to see how important it is to give to other children,” Foster’s Filomena Johnston told Eyewitness News of her son Gian, who donated a game to Toys for Tots Saturday.

Sergeant Impagliazzo has been collecting, sorting and distributing toys for 28 years. The Marine Corps and other sponsors will stuff an entire bus with the donations which are received.

“Every year there’s a hug, there’s a thank you,” said Sgt. Impagliazzo. “As Marines, we’re meant to be tough, and it’s really hard to hold back sometimes the tears because you’re just so happy you’re able to help somebody.”

The Marines told Eyewitness News they are always low on donations for infants through two years old, as well as teens.

The “Toys for Tots” drive in Warwick will continue through Sunday.

During the months of November and December, bring in a new, unwrapped toy into any Cardi’s Furniture location and we’ll be sure to work with the US MARINES and local agencies to get those toys into the hands of a well deserving, less fortunate child.The Eyewitness News studio is also a drop-off point for “Toys for Tots” donations. We are also accepting new, unwrapped toys.

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