Marines and volunteers with the Schuylkill Carbon Marine Corps League have spent the past week sorting and bagging thousands of new toys in preparation for the Toys For Tots and Tamaqua Salvation Army food distributions to be held Saturday at the Salem Bible Fellowship Church in Lehighton, and Thursday at the Tamaqua Salvation Army.

The SCMCL has coordinated and spearheaded the local Toys For Tots campaign since the beginning of its charter, which was in 1986.

Marines and volunteers spend months placing boxes, collecting donations, registering families and sorting toys in preparation for the two distributions.

Lehighton's Toys For Tots and food distribution has been held at many locations since the league started. Since 2008, the Salem Bible Fellowship Church in Lehighton has provided additional volunteers, as well as a comfortable venue, for the program.

"Our location and partnership with the league allow us to service the community as well as the Marine Corps League," Pastor Bob Johnson said.

Members of the church also provide snacks and hot refreshments to families as they wait in line to pick up their donations. Both Tom Fenon, commandant, and Cheryl Laub, Toys For Tots coordinator, SCMCL, expressed the league's appreciation to all the members, organizations, businesses and individuals that donated or volunteered their time for the campaign.

Even though the toy distribution is tomorrow, new toy donations can still be dropped off at the church or participating Toys For Tots box locations in preparation for the second distribution, scheduled Thursday at the Tamaqua Salvation Army.

For more information about Toys For Tots or local drop off sites, visit or call Laub at (570) 386-2129.