Gary Smith, store manager of the Publix Supermarket at Old Cutler Town Center in Cutler Bay, put together a program to donate toys to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots. With the help of staff, other Publix stores and customers, Smith was able to collect 440 toys for underprivileged children.
“It’s something I’ve been doing since I was in the Air Force Reserve,” Smith said. “As a store manager, I’ve been doing it for 16 years.”
Smith said that he started this year’s effort about four weeks earlier, sending out messages to let all his associates know and also sending them out to the local Publix stores in the area, announcing that he was having a toy drive for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots.
“I asked them if they would help support this, to help the Marines who are helping the kids who wouldn’t get something for Christmas,” Smith said. “The response was awesome. The team did pretty good. They had a lot of really nice toys. One of my managers bought two bicycles. We had people from all over the place bringing toys in. It’s the season for giving.”
The store is located at 20425 Old Cutler Rd. in Cutler Bay. For information call 305-235-2214.