BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Boy Scout Troop 68 of Berkeley Heights along with the Student Ambassadors of Governor Livingston is launching their 2016 “Toys for Appalachia” Service project. This program collects toys for Christmas for the less fortunate people of Appalachia, West Virginia. Last year, a whopping 800 toys were collected by Troop 68. This year they have a formidable target of 1,000 toys.

Twenty-five years ago, Assistant Scoutmaster Terrence Grossman went down to Genoa, West Virginia, one of the poorest regions in Appalachia, to bring toys for boys and girls during Christmas. While many houses did not even have running water, he was struck by how humble, thankful, and proud the people of the town were. Along with his wife Louisa, he started collecting toys at his son’s pre-school. Their son Alton revived the project as a first year scout over six years ago. That year, the troop collected 60 toys.

Over the year, other Troop 68 scouts like Ethan Kan, Nick Young, Nick Kwan, Tim Koubek and Kyle Engamann have helped run the program and expanded to other scouting organizations. Last year, Troop 68 partnered with the Student Ambassadors from Governor Livingston, to collect toys.

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Troop 68 is gearing up for this year’s Toy Drive and setting up the following collection points at the Berkeley Heights YMCA and Our Lady of Peace Church in New Providence.Other drop off points will be announced soon.

  • Berkeley Heights YMCA – Starting November 28th
  • Faith Lutheran New Providence – Starting December 4th

Student Ambassadors will also be collecting toys at Governor Livingston and ask that the Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops collect toys and drop them off at the troop meeting on December 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Mary Kay. McMillin Early Childhood Center.

Gifts should be new and are expected to range from $10-$30. They should be unwrapped and in the box. If the toy requires batteries, then they should come along with the gift. 

"Please be generous with your donations," said Neil Chahil. "It is not enough to remember the less fortunate in thoughts alone, we must remember them with our deeds."