By Danielle Sweetser

In the spirit of the holiday season, SUNY Cobleskill’s Student Veterans Association partnered with the Dollar Tree in Cobleskill, NY, a nationally recognized discount variety store, to collaborate with the Operation Homefront organization. Together they collected approximately 2,000 toys.

The Student Veterans Association at SUNY Cobleskill worked diligently to disperse toys to as many veteran families as possible. About half of the 2,000 toys collected were distributed to the families of SUNY Cobleskill student veterans. The other half of the toys were transported with the helping hands of the SUNY Cobleskill Veterans Association to the Schoharie County Sheriff’s Department, where the Sheriff’s Department in turn provided those toys to Schoharie County community families via the “Marine Toys for Tots” program.

Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers and has a nationwide presence of people who provide emergency and financial assistance to families of service members and wounded warriors. Ninety three percent of total donations from Operation Homefront go directly to programs that offer support to our military. Dollar Tree holds this toy drive each year by asking each customer if they would consider donating toys to veteran families in need.

Matthew LaLonde, Director of Judicial and Veteran Affairs, spoke very highly of the successful turnout the fundraiser had. “We want to give Dollar Tree, the Schoharie County Sheriff’s office and all of the student veteran’s huge thanks for their leadership and support of our veterans and their families.” He added, “It is very fulfilling to know that our small effort may have had a positive impact on some of our veterans’ lives. We believe that it is our responsibility to serve those who have sacrificed so much to serve us.”