Early boost for Toys for Tots

The 2015 Toys for Tots campaign will launch this weekend with collection sites at the Walmart and Big Kmart stores. But the toy drive received an early boost thanks to Jacee Perreira.

The senior at Kauai High School helped contribute more than $2,145 Monday afternoon to the Toys for Tots organizing committee.

“I volunteered with Toys for Tots at their collection sites for several years,” Perreira said. “While contemplating an idea for a senior project, I decided I wanted to do a fundraiser for Toys for Tots because I remembered how good it felt to be helping children get gifts for Christmas — children who would otherwise not get anything.”

Perreira called on her mother Cheryl, a Zumba instructor, and younger sister Bryanna to organize a Zumba toy and fundraiser drive to benefit Toys for Tots. The event at the Kauai Veterans Center generated the proceeds.

“Last year, the U.S. Marine Corps League kicked in $5,000 to help the program,” said Norberto Garcia, U.S. Marine Corp. League member. “This year, we’re trying to better the nearly 3,000 toys which were distributed.”

Salvation Army Maj. Mario Reyes said, despite the strong contributions, last year’s total fell short, leaving some Christmas wishes in danger of being unfilled.

“At the last minute, we had a vacationing family come through with a healthy contribution geared for teens,” Reyes said. “That really helped and saved us.”

Reyes said the Toys for Tots program received 2,707 pieces and had to purchase another 200 toys.

When the Toys for Tots collection sites open at Walmart and the Big Kmart, volunteers are welcome to help between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Volunteers are asked to call Cheryl at 639-0507.

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