U.S. Marines Visit Harbor Country Day School to Collect Toys Donated to Suffolk County Toys for Tots Program

Written by Long Island News & PR  |  17. December 2018

St. James, NY - December 17, 2018 - On Wednesday, December 13, United States Marines from the Sixth Communications Battalion, Alpha Company, in Farmingdale, NY, visited Harbor Country Day School in St. James to collect toys donated to the Suffolk County Toys for Tots program. The toys were donated by Harbor Country Day School students, as well as members of the John W. Cooke V.F.W. Post 395 of St. James and members of the surrounding community. In addition to collecting toys from its own students, Harbor Country Day serves as a drop-off location for the toy drive.

HCDS Students Help Marines Load Donated Toys. Photo Credit: Harbor Country Day School
Harbor Country Day has contributed to the Toys for Tots drive since 1998, when former Harbor employee and former Marine Mike Guido instituted the program. Now retired from the school, Mr. Guido directs the delivery of toys from various sites throughout Smithtown to Harbor Country Day and other drop-off locations. Mr. Guido also coordinates the toy drive at the John W. Cooke V.F.W. Post 395, of which he is a member. 

HCDS First Graders Pose with US Marines. Photo Credit: Harbor Country Day School
“We’re honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the Toys for Tots drive and to work with Mr. Guido and his fellow Marines on such a wonderful program,” said John Cissel, Head of School for Harbor Country Day School. “Welcoming the Marines to Harbor to collect the toys brings an entirely different level of significance to our toy drive. Not only are the students learning about the importance of reaching out to others in need, but they also have the rare opportunity to interact closely with the Marines and learn first-hand about the incredible work they do for our country, both abroad and stateside.” 

Head of School John Cissel, Student Council Advisor and Math Teacher Lynda McKenna and HCDS Students Welcome US Marines to Harbor Country Day School. Photo Credit: Harbor Country Day School
About Harbor Country Day School
Founded in 1958 by conscientious parents, Harbor Country Day School is an independent, co-educational day school for children from preschool through 8th grade situated in St. James’ Village of Head of the Harbor. The school employs a whole-child approach to education, wherein its rigorous curriculum is supported by a broad program in its academic, athletic, advisory, and visual and performing arts departments designed to develop all aspects of each child's talents and interests. Harbor Country Day School’s summer camp program, Camp Harbor, is among the leading summer camp programs on Long Island. The school’s mission to “cherish childhood, cultivate wonder, and inspire confident learners and leaders” underscores every child’s experience at Harbor Country Day School and ensures that all of its graduates are prepared to lead fulfilling lives filled with wonder, confidence, and many successes. 
Harbor Country Day School is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and is accredited by and a member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS).  It is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization under section 501(c) (3) of the IRS Code governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees.  For more information, visit www.hcdsny.org.   
About Toys for Tots
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The program helps those children experience the joy of Christmas and plays an active role in their healthy growth and development. During the annual three-month toy collection and distribution campaign, the program unites all members of local communities in a common cause and gives everyone an opportunity to contribute to the future of their community. The Toys for Tots program is the nation’s largest holiday toy drive.

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