Faso Helps Champion Effort to save Toys for Tots Holiday Train

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Washington, August 10, 2018 | comments

Washington D.C. – Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) urged Amtrak to reconsider a change that would cancel the annual Toys for Tots train. The bipartisan letter sent to Amtrak was signed by Representatives Faso, Stefanik, and Tonko.

The train is entering its 20th season of operation. Each year, the train collects over 25,000 donated toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation, which will redistribute them to underprivileged children.

The letter reads in part: “This is a beloved and endearing resource that many of our region’s neediest families rely on. Discontinuing this train service will mean approximately 40,000 children and their families will not benefit from donated gifts and much needed winter hats and gloves. We implore you to reconsider.

“We are aware that Amtrak has established a new policy for the operation of charter trains and believe it has every right to do so. However, ending this important holiday charter service will negatively affect the neediest in our communities and discontinue a positive charitable action that has brought great recognition to Amtrak’s reputation in the eyes of many.”

Additional information about Operation Toy Train is available by clicking here.

Text of the letter is below, and a signed copy is available by clicking here.

August 9, 2018

Mr. Richard H. Anderson, President and CEO

National Passenger Rail Corporation

1 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Mr. Richard Anderson,

We are writing to express great concern that Amtrak is planning to end its support for the annual Toys for Tots Train. This is a beloved and endearing resource that many of our region’s neediest families rely on. Discontinuing this train service will mean approximately 40,000 children and their families will not benefit from donated gifts and much needed winter hats and gloves. We implore you to reconsider.

We are aware that Amtrak has established a new policy for the operation of charter trains and believe it has every right to do so. However, ending this important holiday charter service will negatively affect the neediest in our communities and discontinue a positive charitable action that has brought great recognition to Amtrak’s reputation in the eyes of many. 

The benefit that the Toys for Tots charter brings to families in our region is immense. This program is about supporting our community and remembering people who are less fortunate during the holiday season. We ask you to consider the special circumstances involved here and act to preserve this unique and deeply valued Toys for Tots charter.

This holiday season would mark the 20th year of this longstanding and generous service. We have been deeply moved by the spirit of community and love for our children that are expressed through this program and we sincerely hope that the tremendous good it does will not be lost this holiday season.

Sincerely,

Paul D. Tonko

 

Elise Stefanik

 

John J. Faso

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