The Saipan Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Northern Marianas College and the U.S. Marine Corps to once again bring the Toys for Tots program to the CNMI this Christmas.
This announcement was made during the Chamber’s general monthly meeting last Thursday at the Kensington Hotel in San Roque.
U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Rubin Tan, who is the Guam and CNMI’s Toys for Tots coordinator, is thankful for the partnership with the Chamber. “Like in all the other years, we are working with the Saipan Chamber of Commerce. They are a huge help, huge partner in the Toys for Tots program because they’re the people who help us collect the toys from the different businesses and…they’re the touch point. That helps us get the toys from the community to those children. This is going to be our sixth year doing Toys for Tots here on Saipan, so we’re excited to continue doing it. And every year you have general awareness of everyone in the community learning more about the program, people who are more willing to donate, and we’re able to help more children.”
Toys collected from Saipan and Guam will also be sent to Tinian and Rota.
Associated Students of NMC president Anushi Josi described the program as “a very good opportunity for us in the community to collaborate and connect and help these kids and families that are in need, and we’re excited honestly to…think that we are going to be a part of the community and we’re going to contribute somehow…as young people. As students I think it’s very important to be involved. It’s so heartwarming that through this, we will be bringing some happiness and some smiles to these kids and…it just really makes me excited that this year we will get to be Santas for these little kids.”
Established in 1947, Toys for Tot is a Marine Corp Reserve mission and is one of the most popular Christmas charities for children. It has been making an impact on millions of children, extending far into Marianas.
“Our mission today is the same as it was in 1947…” said Tan “And that is to give kids new, unwrapped toys during the holiday season, and to send a message of hope to those less fortunate children.”
Tan said during the Chamber announcement that since its inception, the program has distributed 627 million toys to over 289 million children worldwide.
When addressing the Chamber, Tan extended his thanks to all who participated in the program.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it alone, it’s really with the help of you all, having donation boxes, and helping collect toys, the Chamber who helps distribute all the toys, as well as collecting and sorting…so it’s not just one person, it’s a community effort, and it’s really to help all the children in the community. …As Marines, we believe in taking care of the community, and I know that you guys also find that very important as well.”
NMC Office of Student Activities and Leadership acting manager and director of PROA Kaelani Demapan told Saipan Tribune, “We’re just really look forward to having our students…become leaders in our community and not just on campus, and it’s a great opportunity to empower them to be leaders and also give back to the community and be a part of these kids’ lives at a very important time….”
Bank of Saipan CEO and BOOST administrator John Arroyo, and Small Business Development Center’s Nadine Deleon Guerrero also announced that the BOOST submission deadline has been moved to Oct. 18, 2022, and encouraged those who haven’t submitted their application to do so.
BOOST stands for Building Optimism, Opportunities and Stability Together. It’s a project of the Office of the Governor and the Department of Commerce that aims to provide loan assistance to CNMI businesses and non-profit organizations.