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For the first time in recent years, employees of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport collected toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign resulting in more than 500 toys for children in need.

Each year, Toys for Tots relies on local businesses and communities for assistance in their goal to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute them to less-fortunate children in the community.  The campaign aims to provide three to four toys to each child in a family that has applied to the program.

NUWC Division Newport Toys for Tots coordinator Patricia Tavares said participating in the program is an important way for NUWC Division Newport employees to give back to the community.

“Collecting 500 toys means we put a smile on the face of approximately 125 children Christmas morning,” Tavares said. “What a great way for us to give back to the community. To me this is what Christmas is about.”

Getting a new holiday campaign started at the division required organizing volunteers and collection sites, obtaining collection boxes from the Marines, and getting them placed throughout the 190-acre installation.  In order to get the donations turned in to the regional Toys for Tots warehouse by the donation deadline, the collection effort had to be limited to only five days. 

“It is still amazing to me that we collected over 500 [toys] in 5 days,” Tavares said.  “I cannot wait to see what next year will bring!”

For more information on how to donate toys to children in need, visit the Toys for Tots Foundation website at www.toysfortots.org.

NUWC Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater  systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare. 

Currently celebrating its 150th anniversary, NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869.  Commanded by Captain Michael Coughlin, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, N.Y., Leesburg, Fla., and Dodge Pond, Conn.

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