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Home : Media : News
NEWS | Dec. 14, 2022

Norfolk Naval Shipyard VET-ERG Brings Holiday Cheer to Community with Annual Toys for Tots Collection

By Kristi Britt, Public Affairs Specialist

Holiday cheer at Norfolk Naval Shipyard reached new heights Friday when a record 1,256 toys were donated to the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

“Our actions speak volumes that we care about our community and want to do our part,” said Shipyard Commander Capt. Dianna Wolfson.

The donation, surpassing last year’s total of 621 toys, was led by the shipyard’s Veterans Employee Readiness Group (VET-ERG). “Everyone’s giving spirit makes a difference and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished as a shipyard today,” said Josh Wannemacher, VET-ERG president.   

For more than 10 years, the shipyard’s VET-ERG has led the annual effort that reaches children of the Hampton Roads area and as far as Richmond and Emporia.

“This is the best turnout we’ve ever had,” said Jon Echols, VET-ERG member and lead for the NNSY’s Toys for Tots collection. “Being able to ensure that the children of our community receive toys on Christmas is so special – and together with our Navy brothers and sisters, we’re reaching as many families as possible.”  

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was first established in 1947 to help support children in need during the holiday season. Since its founding, more and more organizations have joined the effort to do their part. Presently, the program distributes an average of 18 million toys to seven million children annually.

Norfolk Naval Shipyard repairs, modernizes and inactivates our Navy’s warships and training platforms.

To learn more about the Toys for Tots program, visit To learn more about the NNSY VET-ERG, email