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Toys for Tots Makes Early Christmas Delivery to Indian Nations

Date: Thursday, September 27, 2007
Contact: Adam Pimley 444-9844

(GREAT FALLS) --- Lt. Governor John Bohlinger, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services, is coordinating the first ever Toys for Tots delivery to Montana's Indian nations of Montana. 

The US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots foundation received twenty six pallets of toys from Toys R Us for Montana.  Jim Heffernan, Helena Toys for Tots coordinator, contacted longtime supporter and fellow marine, John Bohlinger to discuss delivery of toys to the Indian nations. 

 “The Toys for Tots Foundation has a long history of providing presents for children that might not otherwise experience a holiday,” said Bohlinger.   “This year we are making a concerted effort to include all of Montana’s children.”

Bohlinger tapped the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs to devise a plan for delivering the toys. Acting Coordinator of Indian Affairs Major Robinson and Executive Assistant Billie Rusek worked to make sure that all tribes were included in the deliveries including Little Shell.

Robinson, having collaborated with the Commodity Warehouse program delivery trucks on a prior project, saw an opportunity to utilize the Department of Health and Human Services delivery system.  “By utilizing a system that is already in place, our office was able to provide a more direct road into Indian country and make the toys available to Indian youth,” he said.

Toy deliveries began this week. The first shipment arrived at the Little Shell Chippewa Tribal Headquarters in Great Falls. The next stop on the Tribal Nations delivery is the Fort Peck Indian reservation.