‘No Toys for Tots this year,’ former organizer says


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The former Southwest Indiana Toys for Tots Local Community Organizer Bob Reutter told Eyewitness News on Tuesday that there will be no Toys for Tots campaign this year in southwestern Indiana.

For the past eight years, Reutter served in the position and helped provide toys to 5,000 children.

Ruetter said that, due to personal reasons, he decided last January to not reapply for the position.

He relayed the message to fellow Marines and other community groups in the area. However, no one decided to apply to lead the campaign in 2019 by the deadline of May 31.

Ruetter said this means there will be no campaign this year, but he sincerely hopes that someone will step up and apply next year.

Read Ruetter’s full statement here:

“For the past eight years I was privileged to be the Local Community Organizer (LCO) of the Southwest Indiana Toys for Tots program. During that time we provided toys to 5,000 children in our four county area annually. We could not have done so without the participation of the caring, compassionate people of southwest Indiana.

Unfortunately, due to personal reasons I decided last January not to reapply for the LCO position. I relayed that message to my fellow Marines and to several other community groups in Evansville. None of them decided to apply to lead a Toys for Tots campaign in 2019 by the deadline of May 31. Therefore there will be no Toys for Tots campaign this year in our area. I sincerely hope someone will step up and apply next year. Families we served in the past should plan on seeking out some of the other groups who do toy collection for Christmas this year.

I would like to offer my thanks and appreciation to the many volunteers who helped make our campaigns a success. In addition to a solid core of Marine veterans and their families, I had over 100 other volunteers who participated in our campaign each year. I would particularly like to thank the management, staff and on-air personalities of Eyewitness News channels 7 and 25 for their support in everything we asked of them. Their efforts allowed us to reach many more families to help. They also provided a platform to reach the people of our community who answered the call and made us the success we were.”

911 Gives Hope is another organization that helps collect toys each year and hands them out to children. The organization will be collecting toys between December 6th and Decemeber 8th at the east side Walmart in Evansville.

More information about 911 Gives Hope can be found on their website.

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(This story was originally published on September 11, 2019)

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