Stealing the donations in a Toys for Tots collection box surely is a terribly sad act – perhaps from financial desperation or criminals taking advantage. Whatever the motivation, it happened last week and prompts a warning that applies generally to charitable giving.
The caveat is this: Know the charity and satisfy any doubts before handing over a check or cash. About 100 toys were stolen from a collection box, apparently by someone misrepresenting a Toys for Tots volunteer. “It’s just a shame that people are in such dire straits. I don’t know what causes them to do this,” says Keenan Walsh, a coordinator of the drive, handled by the Marine Corps League, Grand Strand Detachment No. 873. The store, not identified, replaced the stolen toys and donated an additional 50.
Walsh also had a report of likely misrepresentation at another site, but no toys were taken. Volunteers who pick up toys and collection sites are on alert. Volunteers responsible for collection have their names and phone numbers on the boxes. Throughout Horry County, there are over 300 sites. Toys for Tots volunteers have Marine Corps League IDs and “are willing – and expect – to show their identification.”
Now don’t use this as an excuse to be a Scrooge. Be generous at the Salvation Army Red Kettles and with the many other venerable charities, including Toys for Tots, one of the most reliable of all holiday causes.