VU in the News

VU in the News

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VU helps Marines brighten holidays for children in need

December 17, 2020

PLAINFIELD, Ind. – The Marine Toys for Tots Program helps less fortunate children experience the joy of the holidays each December. What you may not know is just how much space is needed to store the thousands upon thousands of toys collected throughout the year, and that’s where Vincennes University merrily steps in.

VU may not be the North Pole or what you imagine as Santa’s workshop. It is a proud partner of the Marine Corps Reserve and is happy to keep these gifts safe and sound all year long at VU’s Logistics Training and Education Center (LTEC) in Plainfield before the big day arrives.

The facility houses toys, books, and many other gifts that are safely tucked away until Santa’s big day when more than 40,000 children in 13 counties throughout  Central Indiana will receive presents under their trees.

“We use our partners to get toys to whoever may need them,” Toys for Tots of Central Indiana Coordinator and Gunnery Sergeant Alexander Baye said. “If there are families in need, we are going to be able to fill those orders. Children deserve a Christmas and we’re helping those families have a Christmas. That is special and something we can all get behind.”

VU is committed to community service and bringing joy and light during a season when many need it most.

Supporting charities is important to VU. In the past, the LTEC received, stored, and shipped books for a non-profit organization that donated them to children who otherwise may have had none.

“Vincennes University is dedicated to our communities and making a difference in the lives of those in need,” VU Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Services David Tucker said. “The opportunity for Vincennes University to help support children, Marine Corps Reserve, and the Toys for Tots Program is very special. We are so very fortunate to be able to play a part in making sure children and families in Central Indiana celebrate a happy holiday season. It is truly an amazing cause to partner with.”

The great fortune of partnering with the Marine Corps Reserve and Toys for Tots program presented itself earlier this year. The charity needed new warehouse space in Central Indiana due to an expansion at its previous location.

“It is an excellent opportunity to marry important charitable support for the community, strengthen Vincennes University’s military and education partnership, and continue to have our educational programs at VU LTEC positively impact the community as they provide workplace experience,” VU’s Director of Logistics Training and Education Scott Bacon said.

After Toys for Tots agreed to partner with VU, Schneider Trucking donated trucks and crews and moved the program’s entire inventory from Gleaners Food Bank warehouse to the LTEC.

“The Logistics Training and Education Center has state-of-the-art technology and the floor space is up to date,” Baye said. “With it being a campus like it is, it allows the job to get done a lot better. There’s a lot of things that help us move items in and out of the warehouse, which makes it very efficient.”

The LTEC is able to translate the need to move products into use in many programs hosted at the facility with students gaining real-world experience in distribution.

Short-term training and credit-bearing programs that provide one-of-a-kind experiences that combine classroom instruction and hands-on learning are offered at the 30,000-square-foot warehouse.

“VU LTEC has supported the Central Indiana Campaign of Toys for Tots in distributing all the toys they are dispersing for Christmas 2020, and are already at work preparing to store toys to go out for Christmas in 2021 as the later donations continue to come in through January,” Bacon said.

VU is proud to support the Marine Corps Reserve and Toys for Tots program in their mission to help children share in the magic of the holidays.

We’ve heard directly from Santa and he’s very grateful for the help he is receiving from the Marine Corps Reserve and Vincennes University.

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