Toys for Tots Defies Recession in Navajo Nation

Story tools

A A AResize


 Wth the country still in the grip of economic recession, Michael Lee feared it would be an even grimmer-than-usual Christmas for many Native American children in Arizona.
Lee, the Navajo Nation Police officer who coordinates Native American Toys for Tots, was almost afraid to hit up the local businesses in Chinle, his usual donors.

To his surprise, he was not the only one who was worried about the kids this year. The U.S. Marine Reserve, Toys for Tots main sponsor, doubled their efforts to collect new toys, and their warehouses were full to bursting.

"I'm pretty confident no Native child will have to go without a toy this year," Lee said.

However, that wave of goodwill created a problem: There was no space to store all the toys, and police vehicles would not suffice to cart them all from storage in Laughlin, Nev., to Chinle, whence they will be distributed to needy families.

The local U-Haul rental agency, Hi-Tech Windshield and U-Haul, stepped in to fill the void.

"They came to our need without any hesitation to help with toy delivery from Laughlin," Lee said. Read more here.