WARREN - Covelli Enterprises has been helping the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program make the holidays special for local children for nearly 30 years and is continuing this year with its recent donation of $15,000 along with $1,000 worth of toys.
The donation is a big boost for Toys for Tots to make sure area children have gifts.
This year's presentation was held recently at Panera Bread in Warren.
Over the past three decades, the company has donated $500,000 to the campaign. The money helps the Marines purchase toys for children in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.
Sam Covelli, owner / operator of Covelli Enterprises, said, "It's important to our company. We started years and years ago with my father, and we wanted to continue the tradition. We want to keep it growing.
''I know how hard the Marines work on this project to get children toys for Christmas. There are so many kids out there that really need toys to wake up to in the morning. Nobody does a better job of that than the Marines," Covelli said.
Chief Warrant Officer Michael Hudson with the U.S. Marine Corps. said more than 16,000 toys and $44,000 have been collected for children in the Mahoning Valley. He said it will help at least 10,000 children.
''The $15,000 donation is a tremendous help for this effort. We will use the money to purchase toys,'' Hudson said.
Last year more than 22,000 toys were collected with this year's total nearing that, he said.
Hudson said all money and toys stay in the local area.
"It just all depends on how many families are in need. We're actually trying to give each child at least two toys this year. That's one of our goals," said Sgt. Modesto Montano, Toys for Tots coordinator.
Since 1948, the Marine Corps has been collecting toys and distributing them to needy kids.