As a child, Coronado Shores General Manager Jerry McDonald vividly remembers the Marine Corps truck coming down his street in Cranston, Rhode Island and handing out toys to he and his friends. He just assumed everyone got that special privilege, but later learned the true meaning and the impact those toys had to help a select group of children. During his 22 years in the Marine Corps, he’s been involved with various Toys for Tots drives, a meaningful program that began in Los Angeles in 1947.
With the pandemic financially devastating many people and families this year, McDonald wanted to help those in need. First he organized a food drive earlier this year, and now in December, he coordinated a Toys for Tots drive in which the generous residents of the Shores could participate.
“I didn’t want to just talk about helping those in need, I wanted to do something.” He recruited Elliot Feldman, Shores bartender, who is now in charge of issuing access control cards, to help. It was a natural fit for Feldman who spent 40 years working for the city of Boston in a variety of roles, many of which involved helping with charitable events that raised millions of dollars for at-risk kids, and whose son is a Navy Lieutenant Commander helicopter pilot.
“We anticipate this will be a growing tradition. This year, we gathered 100 new toys, which equates to 10 toys for each of the Shores Towers, but our future goal is 1,000 toys and beyond,” said McDonald. The pair saw many families with children donating toys, as parents taught them the importance of helping others. Toys were collected throughout the month of December and will now be delivered to the Toys for Tots drive, which helps thousands of families throughout San Diego County.
To get information about donating toys, contact: [email protected]