Marines Partner With Toys For Tots to Give Presents to Children With Autism and Disabilities
U.S. Marines working with Toys For Tots are spreading the holiday cheer for hundreds of families with children on the autism spectrum this year. Peer Pals, a nonprofit organization in Oyster Bay, New York, recently opened a sensory-friendly play place where children on the spectrum can play with their neurotypical peers and other kids with disabilities. There was just one problem: Peer Pals had no toys for the children to play with.
Now, thanks to a group of Marines and Toys For Tots, Peer Pals and the families it services have $20,000 worth of toys to play with.
“Why do I do it? Because it brings a joy to me, because growing up I didn’t have an opportunity to have a new unwrapped toy,” Staff Sargent J.D. Quinton told CBS New York.
The Marines participating made sure to pick toys that were sensory-friendly, opting for toys with lights, sounds and a more tactile experience. The toys will be available to the 200 plus families who attend Peer Pals free play programs. In addition to its sensory-friendly space, Peer Pals also coordinates one-on-one playdates, matching preschool age children with disabiliti