CAPITAL REGION — For the last 12 years, Dunkin’s in-store toy collection bins — where customers can drop off toys and coats for young ones in need — have been responsible for 12 percent of Capital Region Toys for Tots’ donations.
This year, with the pandemic impacting the day-to-day lives of children and families across the Capital Region and hosting in-store collection bins, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, founder of the Toys for Tots campaign, will partner with Dunkin’ and Albany County for a safe collection process.
On Thursday, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy announced that socially distant drive-through collections will be held at the Albany County Hockey Facility, located at 830 Albany Shaker Road, on Nov. 7 and 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“This has been a challenging year. So many families have been impacted and Albany County wants to help as many children as possible have a brighter holiday,” McCoy said. “… Last year, Capital Region Toys for Tots distributed toys to nearly 200,000 local children. We anticipate that number may be even bigger this year and I encourage you to drop off a toy at the Albany County Hockey Facility during one of our drive-thru drop offs.”
Dunkin’ also donated $30,000 toward the purchase of new toys for this year’s campaign. With its latest contribution, Dunkin’ has donated a total of $350,000 to Capital Region Toys for Tots since 2009.
Vinny Roman, coordinator for Capital Region Toys for Tots, said it’s exciting to see the community come together in this way, and that the donations have played a big role in aiding to the growing need for toys during each holiday season.
“If you think about it, it’s all about showing relentlessness, to be able to be diverse and dynamic. This team is doing that,” Roman said.
During the collection drives, Capital Region residents will be invited to donate new toys to children in need through their vehicles. Dunkin’ will give each vehicle that donates a toy a $5 gift card and a 10-pack of Munchkins.
“We just needed to make sure we brought joy and smiles to these children’s faces on Christmas morning and we recognize the need more than ever,” said Dunkin’ Field Marketing Manager Eric Stensland.
Ultimately, Roman said, the success of the drive is up to the community.
“We need their support more than ever,” Roman said. “We can not be successful without the community. We have to show the world that no matter COVID or not, we’re gonna bring Christmas to these kids. And that’s the goal.”