WESTFIELD — The Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing never sets aside its commitment to helping people. The 2020 Toy for Joy drive is no exception.
Not only did the guard’s vehicle maintenance unit make its annual donation to the children’s Christmas drive, its $300 contribution was larger than usual. It’s a reminder of the generosity of the unit and the Air National Guard, which operates out of Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport.
Toy for Joy, now in its 98th year, is a cooperative effort by the Salvation Army with The Republican, El Pueblo Latino and MassLive. It seeks to raise $150,000 by Christmas Eve as it distributes gifts to families in need in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.
Its community partners this year include Pride Stores and Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi. Pride is asking customers at its stores in Western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut to contribute to Toy for Joy by purchasing $1, $5 or $10 donation cards.
The vehicle maintenance unit of the 104th Fighter Wing has been a Toy for Joy contributor for years. With the coronavirus pandemic putting even more pressure on Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin County families this year, the unit’s contribution will be especially meaningful in bringing smiles to the faces of area children.
The vehicle maintenance unit’s contribution reflects the spirit of the holiday. Annual donors are responding with support as large, or in some cases larger, than they have in the past.
First-time contributors are needed as well. Contributions go directly to bringing toys, games and treats to deserving children. Toy for Joy sponsors handle the processes of registration, bookkeeping, packaging and delivering toys — so there is no administrative cost that would siphon off valuable dollars.
Contributions may be mailed with the coupon that accompanies this story to The Republican, 1860 Main St., Springfield, MA 01101. Online donations can be made at give.salvationarmy.org/toyforjoy.
Here is a list of recent contributions:
In memory of Anna and Hugh Ketchum and James and Ronnie Donohue $50
God bless us all $25
Merry Christmas from the Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing Vehicle Maintenance Unit $300
In loving memory of Robert, Shirley and Robert Pumell Jr. $20
God bless all the children, in memory of my brother Dennis $100
In memory of my mother Barbara Kupec $25
In loving memory of my husband Bill and son David $50
In memory of Fred, 62 blessed years together $200
Merry Christmas, in memory of Emma, Dubsie and Aran $25
In loving memory of Hank and Ann Prunckun, Lester and Enis MacLeod, Grandma Carol and Dick Blanchette $64
Merry Christmas to all, love Gianna, Michael, Jillian and Benjamin $100
May 2021 be a safer year. Merry Christmas everyone $25
In memory of Barbara, Billy and Gail Chesworth $100
In loving memory of Bill Curtis $25
From J.A., Vass and Zyna $50
One-year memory of Charlie $100
In memory of Pops and Ma, ML $50
Merry Christmas everyone $50
In loving memory of my John from Rose $10
The Storeys $100
Merry Christmas from my great-grandson Carter $25
Jan and Carl $50
In memory of Chiara and Renzo Vedany $25
Love from Emma and Chloe $25
In memory of my grandson Jake. Love you, from Grandma $50
In memory of Bob $50
Welcome Sarah Violet $25
In memory of Hazel and Athos Rossi and their children Peter, Nola, Susan and Tina $20
Happy holidays from the Youngs $30
In memory of the Hosmers, Merry Christmas $50
In memory of my husband from Carol $25
In memory of my running buddies George Ryan and Ed Hanechak $25
Total to date $16,318
Still needed $133,682