Q: Where do you run in New York State?
A: Operation Toy Train operates a Toys for Tots collection train in southern Orange County, New York between Walden and Warwick. There is a separate Toys for Tots distribution train operated by the Capital Region Toys for Tots that runs in the Albany area. For up-to-date information on the Albany distribution train, please visit the Capital Region Toys for Tots page on Facebook.
Q: How do I get tickets to ride the train?
A: Unfortunately, you can’t. Operation Toy Train is NOT a train ride. It is a working freight train that collects toys for the Toys for Tots Foundation. The only riders on the train are the volunteer staff and train crew.
Q: Can I volunteer to work on the train?
A: At this time, Operation Toy Train is not accepting new volunteers for the train. Space constraints, logistics, and railroad safety regulations require us to keep the number of staff on the train as low as possible. We are, however, always looking for volunteers for other tasks, such as ground crew to help organize people and donations at each stop! To get involved, email Carolyn Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What is the record number of toys Operation Toy Train has collected in a single year?
A: The number of toys has steadily increased every year since we started operating in 2009, collecting just over 3,000 toys. Our 2017 train is the record so far; we collected 25,454 toys in just four days of train operations, plus about 2,000 additional toys that were collected by truck (rather than by train). 17,734 of these toys were collected on the train in a single day on Saturday, December 2, 2017!
Q: I can’t make it to one of the scheduled train stops, but I still want to donate a toy. Where can I bring it or drop it off?
A: Operation Toy Train works with many sponsors throughout New Jersey and New York that maintain Toys for Tots collection boxes at their business offices for several weeks before the train runs. You can bring your donation to any of these drop-off locations, and they will be delivered to our train when we make our scheduled stop. For a list of our sponsors’ drop-off locations, click here.
Q: My business wants to get involved and become a sponsor. What can we do?
A: Several of Operation Toy Train’s corporate sponsors simply make financial contributions to offset the costs of operating our train (see the next question). Other companies volunteer to become collection points, placing Toys for Tots collection boxes at their place of business for employees and visitors to drop off toys. Whenever possible (based on distance and timing), Operation Toy Train will supply official USMC Toys for Tots boxes (the big white ones with the red Toys For Tots logo) to your location, along with posters and other materials when available. The sponsor then transports the collected toys to the train when the train makes its nearest stop. (Please note that we cannot come to the sponsor to pick up the boxes - we’ll be busy running the train!) For information on becoming a sponsor, please visit our get involved page.
Q: I don’t have time to shop for toys, but I’d still like to make a donation. What can I do?
A: Running a full-size train costs a lot of money every year. Operation Toy Train is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and your financial donations towards our train’s operation are tax-deductible. We accept donations online by clicking here, or you can mail us a check at:
Operation Toy Train, Inc.
P.O. Box 2351
Branchville, NJ 07862