About a year ago, Janet Mabon started working at Colorado State University after moving to Fort Collins from Tucson, where her previous employer had a donation box for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. After she moved to CSU, Mabon asked the president’s office if the university could host donation boxes for Toys for Tots.
“A large part of this is a tribute to my father,” said Mabon. “He loved children and donated to foster homes frequently. My father was always playing basketball and was a Mickey Mouse fan, so every year we donate a basketball and a toy Mickey to the Toys for Tots program in memory of him.”
Last year volunteers collected 795 toys at 31 different sites on campus.
This is the second year that CSU is hosting donation boxes for Toys for Tots. There are 38 boxes around campus where donations of new, unopened, unwrapped toys, games, sporting equipment or books can be dropped off until 5 p.m. on Dec. 7.
During finals week, Mabon collects the toys with the help of her daughter, Jessie, and husband, Ross, who recently started working on the Lory Student Center’s operations team. CSU’s Facilities Management donates a collection truck and gas to gather the toys, which are taken to a warehouse where they are divided by wish lists that are provided by local charities and churches. The toys are distributed to less-fortunate children in the area including those in foster home and safe houses.
“When I started to deliver toys the first time my heart was overwhelmed,” said Mabon. “To see the amount of toys in one day, my heart could’ve burst. I was seeing everybody’s mission and a sense of community, and that was neat.”