DHHS Employees Gather Hundreds of Gifts for Toys for Tots

Division of Public Health Emplyoees (right to left) Carla Moore, Betty Baker, Mark Benton and Maj. Brad Brecher, USMCR, helped collect toys for Toys for Tots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Division of Public Health employees (right to left) Carla Moore, Betty Baker, Mark Benton and Maj. Brad Brecher, USMCR, helped collect toys for Toys for Tots.

Dec. 16, 2019 – Employees with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services participated in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s 72nd annual Toys for Tots drive this year, gathering hundreds of toys for children in the community who may not otherwise receive a Christmas gift.

Jeff Smith, Military and Veterans Program Liaison for the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, led the Community Engagement and Empowerment Team at DHHS and its partnership with the Marine Corps Reserve in placing and promoting the donation boxes. The boxes were placed at several DHHS buildings throughout Raleigh.

“On behalf of the Division of MH/DD/SAS, the Community Engagement and Empowerment Team is proud to lead our efforts in collecting toys for deserving children in North Carolina as part of the 2019 U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual Toys for Tots,” Smith said. “We are proud to join in this effort and help support children from economically disadvantaged families.” 

After DHHS staff and employees donated hundreds of new toys, Smith and Brad Brecher, Legal Consultant for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), drove to the bin locations and collected the toys on Dec. 13.

DHHS staff helped donate hundreda of toys for Toys for Tots this year. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DHHS staff helped donate hundreds of toys for Toys for Tots this year. 

Brecher, a decorated major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, also helped with the toy drive’s coordination. He served 10 years on active duty, including a deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, before coming to the OCME in Raleigh. 

“I see the Toys for Tots program as an extension of our work as state employees on a daily basis — making a difference in the lives of North Carolinians — by providing holiday toys for children and families who would otherwise be unable to purchase them,” Brecher said.

Brecher and Assistant Secretary for Public Health Mark Benton collected the Toys for Tots bins from Public Health buildings.

“DPH employees have a long history of giving, and our participation in this year's Toys for Tots campaign is one of several ways we are helping others this holiday season,” Benton said. “I'm also very appreciative of Brad's work in this campaign and of his service to our nation as a member of the military reserves.”

Retired Maj. Bill Hendricks, USMCR, founded the Toys for Tots program in 1947 in Los Angeles, Calif. where 5,000 toys were collected in its first year. Toys for Tots has been the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s signature community engagement and action program ever since, and it is one of the country’s premier holiday charities. Local toy collection campaigns begin each October and last until mid-December, when the toys are collected, sorted and then distributed to children and families with the assistance of local social welfare and community agencies, and church groups, to bring hope and joy to children. 

Author: 
Kelly Haight Connor