Sandia LabNews

Sandians give hundreds of gifts, coats to families in need

Image of Dennis Baker led Toys for Tots initiative at Sandia/California
TOYS FOR TOTS — Dennis Baker, leader of Sandia/California’s Toys for Tots campaign, poses with Santa Claus during the donation event on Dec. 2. (Photo by Randy Wong)

Sandians in California made sure dozens of families in need had coats during the cold winter months and holiday presents under their trees for children around the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Security Operations organization, in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, conducted this year’s Toys for Tots campaign under the leadership of Dennis Baker and campaign organizers Jamie Duranleau and Kaela Angelo. The annual toy drive, which culminated in a collection by the Marines on Dec. 2, marks the eighth year that Sandia has supported the Toys for Tots mission of spreading joy by donating new toys to children who are less fortunate. Dennis reflected on how the campaign promotes a sense of community at Sandia and beyond.

“We’re all in this together, and I’d like to extend my thanks to Sandians,” said Dennis. “I’ll be forever grateful for their generosity and for my opportunity to work with them.”

The Protective Force installed toy collection boxes throughout the California site and encouraged donors to purchase toys from Amazon. They collected 287 toy donations.

Since 1947, the Toys for Tots program through the U.S. Marine Corps has distributed more than 604 million toys to more than 272 million children. The organization has also formed the Toys for Tots Literacy Program and the Toys for Tots Native American Program.

Image of Krissy Galbraith led One Warm Coat initiative at Sandia
HEARTWARMING — Krissy Galbraith, right, delivered 105 new and used coats to the Central American Refugee Committee, a One Warm Coat partner in Oakland, California. (Photo courtesy of Krissy Galbraith)

Krissy Galbraith from the communications group in California led the annual coat drive for the Livermore site. This was Krissy’s 10th annual coat drive at Sandia and her 15th overall on behalf of One Warm Coat, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that provides people in need with free warm coats.

This year, in coordination with Safe Passages, Sandia/California donated 105 new and used coats to refugee and immigrant families from Central America living in Alameda County. The coats were distributed at two events hosted by the Central American Refugee Committee, a Safe Passages partner that impacts the lives of community members.

California staff donated from an Amazon Wish List, dropped off gently worn coats at the Livermore campus and made financial contributions.

“I didn’t have the chance to stop by the office during the campaign. So, when I came to collect the coats at the end of October, I honestly didn’t know if there would be one or 50. I was elated to see the generosity of my peers and colleagues overflowing out of the bins. I was incredibly moved, and my heart was full. Sandians are truly some of the most big-hearted and giving people,” Krissy said.

The Central American Refugee Committee is a grassroots organization dedicated to organizing and educating the Latino immigrant community to improve local social, economic and cultural conditions.

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