OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The Steelers and their Terrible Towel weren’t the only visitors at the Oakland Coliseum Sunday. Stationed at every gate around the venue, were U.S. Marines on a five hour mission to collect toys.
Now in its 71st year, the Marine Toys for Tots program collects millions of toys from October through December. The toys are then distributed to less fortunate children around the nation.
Last week, Raiders players and cheerleaders joined the effort, signing autographs for fans who donated a toy at their Image Store at Southland Mall. Early on Sunday, bins outside the Coliseum were largely empty, but many fans donated the next best thing – cash.
“My kids have everything and I love to donate to kids that can’t have the same things my kids have. And it’s a pleasure always doing it. I donate all the way to Mexico. I send toys all the way to Mexico. I do it every year,” said Raider fan Liz Polin, who drove up for the game from Bakersfield.
Officials say all toys and proceeds benefit children in the Bay Area.
“So overall, it’s a national effort by the Marine forces reserve and the Toys for Tots Foundation. However, each area is collecting and providing back to that area they’re located in,” said Rothman.
Officials say if you didn’t make it out to the game to make a donation, you can always go online and find a donation center anywhere in the country. Toys and proceeds will be distributed December 14.