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In the spirit of giving TJCA Jr. High Student Council Receives Commanders Award for Toys for Tots Donation

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Photographs provided by Louis Hernandez and Chasity Faltraco

In the spirit of giving, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy Jr. High Student Council was honored to donate a $1,000.00 check to the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Program. During the ceremony, the Marines also awarded Thomas Jefferson with the Toys for Tots 2017 Commander's Award for outstanding support of the Toys for Tots Program.

TJCA Jr. High Student Council President, Noah Champion, said, "I am proud to be part of an organization that donates to a program that spreads the joy of Christmas to less fortunate children in Rutherford County. We hope that we can donate even more next year."

This generous donation was made possible by the Jr. High Student Council's annual fund raiser, "May Mist". "May Mist" is a Parent/Student prom held every May for all Thomas Jefferson students and their families. Tickets are sold for this event to raise money for programs such as the Toys for Tots Program. Mr. Kelly Scruggs, 7th grade history teacher, is the chairperson for the Jr. High Student Council and organizes this event yearly.

The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, when he collected 5,000 toys during a campaign he organized in California. The first toy ever donated was a homemade doll. The following year, The United States Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots, and expanded it into a nationwide community action project. Marines at each Reserve Center throughout the nation conducted toy collection and distribution campaigns in the communities surrounding the center. Last year, with total revenue of over $280 million, was the second best year ever experienced by Marine Toys for Tots. With 97% of all proceeds going directly to the families in need, the program is recognized by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance as one of the top charities in the nation.

As stated on their website, www.toysfortots.org, the primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, and patriotic citizens, and to play an active role in the development of one of our nation's most valuable resources - our children. They aim to unite all members of local communities in a common cause during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign and to contribute to better communities in the future.

The Commanders Award is presented to acknowledge, "the outstanding support" of those whose "generous contributions enable the USMC to bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America's less fortunate children."

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