The Bergen County Toys for Tots were facing a catastrophe when a fire torched over 400 toys that had been earmarked of less fortunate children, but the local community has stepped up to replace the destroyed toys, and then some.

The story, as told in, begins on Nov. 21 when a fire tore through the Paramus Junior Baseball League Field House where over 400 toys that had been donated were being stored.

Alan Brundage, treasurer of the PJBL and husband of the Bergen County Toys for Tots Foundation head, Brenda Brundage, posted on the league’s Facebook page about the fire and the ruined toys and it spread from there.

Donations have been pouring in at the Orange Lantern in Paramus, which is the collection site for the Bergen County Toys for Tots. According to, even Amazon and Walmart delivery drivers are bringing in toys purchased by anonymous donors.

It appears that not only will they replace all the destroyed toys, but they are back on track to collect their goal of 2,000 toys.

The Marine Corps Toys for Tots program was founded in 1991 and, according to its website, its mission is: to assist the U. S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas.

Further, the objectives of the Foundation are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to improving communities in the future.

To donate to your local Toys for Tots campaign, use the foundation’s locator here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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