Dunkin’ Donuts gives $20,000 to program
On Monday, Nov. 2, Dunkin’ Donuts was announced as the Toys for Tots secret Santa, with the company donating more than $20,000 toward the U.S. Marine Corps’ annual Holiday Train at the Glenville Marines Reserve Base.
The Marine Corps Holiday Train was in danger of being derailed this year after a lack of support, threatening the delivery of toys to children from Binghamton to Plattsburgh during the holiday season. The money donated by Dunkin’ Donuts will go toward the purchase of toys and help the train, donated by Canadian Pacific Railway, on its journey through New York.
`This is one of the best things we can do,` said Eric Stensland, field marketing manager for Dunkin’ Donuts. `When we heard that it was going to be derailed, it was imperative to keep the train on track and stocked with toys for the children this holiday season.`
The Holiday Train, which has been a staple in the region for more than a decade, was in jeopardy of being lost after the former donors had to back out of the project.
Dunkin’ Donut franchisees will join the Marine Corps on the train’s two-day run across the state to deliver toys to children and families in need. The program will also deliver toys to local nonprofits at each stop to distribute to those in need in their local communities. Dunkin’ Donuts will also provide hot chocolate and doughnuts for families and volunteers at each stop on the journey.
`They [the Marine Corps] were looking for a sponsor. We stepped in and made sure these kids can continue to have Christmas like they used to,` said Dunkin’ Donuts Albany District Chairman Carlos Teixeria. `We wanted to pick up where they [the other sponsors] left off.`
Natasha Teixeira, who will accompany her father on the train trip, scheduled for Dec. 5 to 6, said, `I think it’s great that Dunkin’ Donuts is giving toys to the children. It’s a really great cause.`
On Dec. 5, the train will travel from Binghamton to Delanson, and on Dec. 6, the train will go from Albany to Plattsburgh with regional stops in Mechanicville, Saratoga and Whitehall. At the end of the two days, the Holiday Train will have given gifts to an estimated 30,000 children in 12 locations.
In addition to the Toys for Tots Holiday Train, the annual U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Holiday Drive will collect gifts at more than 400 locations throughout the Capital District this year. The collection starts on Nov. 5 and 6 at Capital District Toys ‘R’ Us locations and is expected to bring in more gifts for communities not covered by the Holiday Train. The efforts of the local franchisees also overlaps with the efforts of the Dunkin’ Donuts Community Foundation, which aims to make a positive impact in the lives of children and communities by supporting charities that benefit children.
`It sounded like a good way to give back to the community,` said local Toys for Tots Coordinator Sgt. Albert Roman Jr., who said he became involved in the program as a way to give back to the community that he was a part of in Glenville. `It sounded like a good way to see where I’m living and how to meet the people of the area and be able to put a smile on a kid’s face. What other time do you get to do that?` “