Geppetto’s in Del Mar Highlands Town Center was the go-to toy store for an anonymous philanthropist who purchased $50,000 worth of toys to donate to the Marine Toys for Tots program.
In previous years, the donor had gone to Toys “R” Us but as the chain shut down this year, the donor selected the local business instead. Early in the morning on Nov. 12, an associate of the donor came in to shop and hand-select the toys. The boxes of toys filled the store and overflowed onto the sidewalk.
“This is the biggest sale we’ve had and the biggest donation,” said Brian Miller, who owns 10 Geppetto’s locations throughout San Diego.
The Marines brought a truck to load up the incredible haul of toys that included trucks, games, baby dolls and even a giant stuffed dinosaur. Miller also contributed additional toys from Geppetto’s for the drive.
The Marine Toys for Tots program has provided Christmas joy to economically disadvantaged children for the last 71 years. Local drives start in October at community collection sites and the toys are stored in a central warehouse where the toys are sorted by age and gender. In the second week of December, with the help of over 150 local nonprofits throughout San Diego and Riverside County, the toys will be distributed to the less fortunate children of the community.
“This is by far the most generous donation I’ve ever seen,” said Sergeant Leticia Williams from the United States Marines, coordinator of the Toys for Tots program in San Diego. “It’s amazing.”
Del Mar Highlands Town Center will be a collection site for Toys for Tots throughout the holiday season. Geppetto’s also does its own toy drive every year to benefit USO San Diego.
Learn more at the local Toys for Tots site.