Local Toys for Tots Program Coordinator Honored for Service | New

When it comes to bringing the holiday cheer to the kids, Bowling Green’s Janel Doyle stands above the crowds.

Each year, more than 800 coordinators run a Toys for Tots program in their community. Of these 800 coordinators, 130 are from Region 2, which includes six states. Only one coordinator from each region can be honored as coordinator of the year.

This year, that honor went to Doyle.

Since becoming the Toys for Tots Southern Kentucky program coordinator in 2012, the program has doubled the number of counties it serves. Children in Adair, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson and Warren counties can smile on Christmas thanks to the efforts of Doyle, members of the Marine Corps League Detachment 1095 and hundreds of volunteers.

By including more counties in its network, Toys for Tots Southern Kentucky has been able to reach over 3,000 more children each year. Although it had to reduce its volunteer base due to capacity restrictions from COVID-19, Toys for Tots Southern Kentucky was successful in providing toys to 8,055 children in 2020.

Doyle attributed the success of last year’s campaign to the volunteers who help run the Toys for Tots operation as well as possible.

“Toys for toddlers couldn’t exist without the help of people in our local communities,” said Doyle.

When Doyle found out she had won the Region 2 Coordinator of the Year award, she was excited about the recognition Toys for Tots Southern Kentucky received from the national organization, but she also realized that other outstanding coordinators deserve to be honored.

“All of the 800 coordinators worked really hard last year,” Doyle said.

Each month, Doyle meets with members of Marine Corps League Detachment 1095 to plan, organize and discuss upcoming Toys for Tots events. Doyle’s uncle, Marine Corps League member Malcolm Cherry, annually supplies a 10,000 square foot warehouse known as the “North Pole.” The warehouse serves as a storage space for all toy donations that Toys for Tots Southern Kentucky receives. Because the organization does not have to pay for a storage facility, all donations made to Toys for Tots Southern Kentucky directly benefit the children who participate in the program, Doyle said.

Members of the Marine Corps League who work with Doyle value his leadership skills. Cherry believes Doyle excels at executing all three components of the U.S. Navy philosophy: overcoming challenges, adapting to new environments, and improvising when necessary.

“She can’t say no,” Cherry said.

Doyle said she enjoys serving children and families as the Toys for Tots coordinator.

“I’m going to keep doing it because I have a passion for it,” Doyle said.

The 2021 Toys for Tots Southern Kentucky campaign will launch in October. In the meantime, Doyle and the Marine Corps League will represent Toys for Tots by showing up at the 23rd Stand for Children Day at Bowling Green Ballpark on June 27 and the “Christmas in July” event on the South Campus of Western Kentucky University on June 27. July 24.

When people congratulate Doyle on winning the Region 2 Coordinator of the Year award, she will tell them that her success would not be possible without the contributions of others. “It’s an ‘us’ thing and not an ‘me’ thing,” Doyle said.

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