With the holidays just around the corner, the Findlay-Hancock County, Ohio, branch of Toys for Tots had collected thousands of toys for children who otherwise may go without this Christmas. However, just weeks before the gifts were going to be distributed, roughly 2,000 donated toys were stolen from the local collection.
“It really hurt. How could someone stoop so low to steal from underserved kids?” asked Larry DeVelvis, Toys for Tots Coordinator for Hancock County and Southern Wood County. “They knew exactly what they were doing and who those gifts were meant for.”
But DeVelvis said giving up wasn’t an option. “No, we weren’t going to let these kids go without a Christmas. It wasn’t going to happen.”
“No, we weren’t going to let these kids go without a Christmas. It wasn’t going to happen.”
He looked to the community for support. The news quickly spread, prompting local organizations and companies like Marathon Petroleum to step up to cover the loss.
Employees at Marathon Petroleum’s Findlay headquarters put together a toy drive that collected more than a hundred toys in a short amount of time. The company also made a monetary donation to Toys for Tots through a local giving grant.
It was such a shame to learn of the theft from an organization we work with every year,” said Ashley Goecke, Community Investment Specialist at Marathon Petroleum. “We knew we had to do something. And it really puts you in the holiday spirt knowing our people came together so quickly with the greater Findlay community to make sure these kids have something to open this Christmas.”
Marathon Petroleum remained in contact with the Toys for Tots organization to make sure their needs were met as the community rallied together to replace the stolen gifts.