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MU Detective Art White (left) and Gilbert Bixler, the coordinator of the Lancaster County Detachment Marine Corps League.

The white and red cardboard Toys for Tots boxes sitting around campus at Millersville University (MU) from October to mid-December looked like any other donation boxes. However, the toys collected in those boxes contributed to a total of about 50,000 toys that made Christmas a little brighter for 12,415 needy children in Lancaster County.

Toys for tots bikesThe campus community’s participation in the successful 2017 Toys for Tots program led to recognition from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve through the Commander’s Award. Gilbert Bixler, the coordinator of the Lancaster County Detachment Marine Corps League, personally visited MU to express his appreciation for the University’s support.

“It felt amazing seeing how many people were generous with donating toys and money,” says Arthur White, a police supervisor within the Millersville University Police Department who led the initiative on the college campus. Toys for Tots is a not-for-profit charity run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve that collects and distributes toys to needy children throughout the country.

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Toys collected for “Toys for Tots”

University police and security officers have participated in the Toys for Tots program for the past 10 years by picking up toys during off-time and on their breaks. For the 2017 program, officers also placed donation boxes as collection points throughout Millersville’s campus, including the Student Memorial Center, Gordinier Hall and the Dilworth, Palmer and Boyer buildings.

“I think because we all have received help in some way it is always good to give back,” White says. “The benefits of helping your community with organizations like Toys for Tots help the community with a better future.”


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