Toys for Tots seeks new program coordinator for 2022

As the Moniteau County Toys for Tots program begins preparing for the holiday season, there is another item on the agenda for getting ready beyond 2021: finding a new coordinator.

Moniteau County Toys for Tots coordinator Dan Mesey and his wife Carol plan to step down from running the program after 2021, and Mesey’s work is already underway to find a suitable hand to help guide the program. program in the future. The goal is to find someone before the end of the year, as he is due to submit his candidacy for Marine Corps coordinator in January.

Moniteau County’s Toys for Tots outreach program is entering its fifth year, Mesey said, but he hopes someone will “step up” to bring toys to children in need for even more years to come.

“We have to have a coordinator who really believes in it and understands the importance of it,” Mesey said. “As I tell everyone, it’s not the toy. The toy makes the child grow in self-esteem, self-respect and dignity. If we want a productive society, we have to start with our kids, and we can’t have the attitude of, “Well, that’s not my kid, so why do I care? It is not my responsibility, it is not my child. “Everything is our responsibility.”

Despite their plans to hand the reins over to someone new, Mesey said he and Carol weren’t planning on going anywhere. They will lend a helping hand and stay involved, he said, to ease the transition for whoever takes on the next role.

There are a number of responsibilities that come with the job, Mesey said – soliciting donations, placing donation drop boxes in locations across the county starting in November, sorting toy donations by age and gender, and filling out donations. about three to four hours of paperwork providing status updates to the Marine Corps per week. Mesey said those duties ultimately boiled down to around 10 hours of work per week, starting in October and going through the first week of January.

Most importantly, Mesey said it was very important that a new coordinator be engaged, compassionate and possess a high level of integrity. This particularly extends to interacting with families who request to receive toy donations, he said. It can be difficult to ask for help, but encountering an environment where Toys for Tots volunteers are cheerful and ready to lend a helping hand without being judgmental can make all the difference. This can take away any discomfort for members of the community that Toys for Tots aims to help, Mesey said.

“When the next coordinator experiences this, then he will understand that it is not about toys,” Mesey said. “I need that kind of compassion from a coordinator.”

Regardless of the level of work involved, Mesey said the new coordinator will be helped by a system that has been developed and refined since he took the helm. After all, he completed some of the more complex work when he himself introduced the program to Moniteau County five years ago and was instrumental in creating it from scratch.

The result, he said, is a community that is more than willing to support the efforts of the program, thereby eliminating the need to educate the community on what Toys for Tots is. This is evidenced by the reserve funds the program was able to build up before this year, Mesey said.

“That says a lot about County Moniteau, so that we can (give to) children while having this stash,” Mesey said. “That says a lot about the community. Don’t say anything (sic) about me, but says a lot about who gave the money. Obviously I’m very proud of the people in this community. They really are people who care. care about each other and about people who contribute to good causes. “

Mesey said he and Carol would be open to anyone interested in the role following the couple as they collect donations in the coming months.

In addition to finding a new coordinator, Mesey said he anticipates supply chain disruptions as another challenge for this year.

“(The suppliers) are going to do their best and we’re going to do our best, and we’ll do the job,” Mesey said.

Currently, Moniteau County Toys for Tots is soliciting nominations, which must be sent out by October 31st. Families not applying through their school district can also contact the Meseys at 660-427-5645 to apply. Completed applications can be mailed to the Meseys at 3819 Hwy O, California, MO 65018.

This year’s family toy drive is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 18 at Cowboy Church located just outside of Tipton at 70011 Hwy 50 East.


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