11-16-06 - The national Marine Reserves' Toys for Tots program has done an about face and decided to accept a donation of talking Jesus dolls for gifts to needy children.
A suburban Los Angeles company offered to donate 4,000 of the battery-powered Jesus dolls, which quote Bible verses.
In explaining the initial decision to reject the donation, Bill Grein, vice president of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, said the program doesn't profess one religion over another, and didn't want to risk offending a Jewish or Muslim family if they received a doll.
But on its Web site, the Marine organization now says, "Toys
for Tots has found appropriate places for these items" and will
accept the donation.
Local Toys for Tots volunteers answered questions Wednesday about donations, one day after a national controversy erupted over the donation of Jesus dolls.
Members of the Marine Reserves in our area say they have not been instructed to reject any religious themed toys. Brad Stephans say distributors always try to make sure children receive a gift appropriate for them.
The Toys for Tots campaign kicks off this month. First News will have a list of drop off locations in the coming days.