Great news

Toys-4-Tots in High Gear on the Eastern Shore 

For awhile it appeared the Cohee Detachment Toys-4-Tots program might come to an end after more than 30 years.

But where there is a will our Marine Veterans will always come through. As the old saying goes: 


An all ready overworked Andy Bouma says, "I couldn't stand by while the program collapsed 

after the late Ed Hearthway worked so hard and for so many years to make the program what it is today."

With a dedicated group of Marine Veterans to help him, Andy Bouma will take over the reins for 2017 as the detachment Toys-4-Tots Cordinator 

for the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 






For over 30 years the SSgt Cohee Detachment, formerly the Delmarva Detachment, has sponsored the Toys for Tots Campaign on the eastern shore of Maryland.  Initially, our campaign included the 9 counties from Cecil through Somerset.  As the Marine Corps League in Maryland expanded and additional Detachments came on board, the SSgt Cohee Detachment reduced their area of responsibility from 9 counties to 3 counties: Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester.  Currently there is a Coordinator for the upper 3 counties and the mid shore 3 counties on Maryland’s eastern shore.

Jimmie Lee Howard, the 1984 Maryland Marine of the Year, 1976-1977 Department of Maryland Commandant, and Honorary Chief Devil Dog, and his wife Gloria, Past National Auxiliary President, were responsible for starting the Toys for Tots program on the eastern shore.  Jimmie Lee fondly recalled the “early days” when some of the toys that were distributed were used and required some minor repairs or a little paint.  Gloria and Jimmie Lee worked out of their home and garage in Salisbury for many years collecting and distributing toys to deserving children.

In 2000, Ed Hearthway, became Jimmie Lee’s assistant, and within a couple of years assumed responsibility for the Toys for Tots campaign.  Jimmie Lee and Gloria continued their involvement and provided valued assistance and support.  It should be noted that Gloria was once overheard saying, “I got my house back at Christmas, now I can decorate.”

By this time there had been numerous changes with the “old way” of doing business; this is especially true with the introduction of the Toys for Tots Foundation in 1991.  Financial Accountability and procedures were enhanced, training for coordinators provided in Quantico, VA, and regional accounting specialists were hired by the Foundation to support each coordinator throughout the county.

Yearly, following the Christmas season, After Action Reports (AAR’s) have been required from each coordinator.  As one can imagine, the format and content for the AAR’s has changed over the years.  The earliest report for our Detachment available was dated 1997.  In 1997, Jimmie Lee and Gloria, working primarily by them-selves, collected and distributed 840 toys to 175 children throughout the 9 counties on Maryland’s eastern shore.  Jimmie Lee reported that he often would drive from Salisbury to Kent County MD and pick up toys collected by one business.  If there were no programs on the northern shore that needed these toys, he would return to Salisbury and insure they were given to deserving children.

Keeping in mind the many changes that have occurred in the last 30+ years, including the development by the Toys for Tots Foundation of detailed Standard Operating Procedures for consistent reporting by over 780 coordinators across the country, the following numbers reflect a summary of the AAR’s from 1997 through 2015 for our Detachment:

Total toys distributed: 177,000 +

Books distributed: 10,116*

Stocking Stuffers distributed: 12,494*

Children receiving toys (duplicated count): 85,952

*Books and Stocking Stuffers were not counted separately until 2010

In 2006, our Detachment earned the distinction of being named the Toys for Tots National Campaign of the year.  This achievement would not have been possible without the volunteer support of our Detachment members, family, friends, and the generous toy donations from area citizens. Local businesses, functioning as toy drop off locations, have provided hundreds of collection sites for toy collection boxes, as well as major fund raising opportunities. As with Jimmie Lee, I have been most fortunate to have had a supportive wife, Fran, beside me during the 16 years. She spent many hours sorting toys, packing toys for distribution, and hours at numerous fund raising events.  Andy Bouma, Assistant Toys for Tots Coordinator, has always been available when called upon; thank you Sandy (Andy’s wife) for your assistance.

Following the 2016 Toys for Tots campaign, Ed Hearthway stepped aside as coordinator for health reasons that were greater than anyone knew as Ed answered the "Final Recall" on May 14, 2017.  The SSgt Cohee Detachment, as of this time, will not apply for the 2017 campaign. Currently, no organization(s) has come forward and indicated an interest in continuing the Toys for Tots program on the lower eastern shore.  For detailed information on the requirements and application process for a new organization to apply and be approved to sponsor aToys for Tots campaign, please visit the following:

Thank you Delmarva for playing an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children, through the delivery of a new toy during the Christmas season and a message of hope for the future.

Andy Bouma, Detachment Coordinator for Toys-4-Tots

32175 Bonhill Drive

Salisbury, MD 21804-1464

Phone: 410-341-4616


The following are some pictures taken during the 2015 Toys-4-Tots Campaign


Welcome to the "Toys for Tots" Program for Salisbury, MD

The area Toys for Tots Coordinator is Ed Hearthway

The Detachments 2015 Toys for Tots season is history and Ed Hearthway the coordinator for the detachment has made it known he will only remain coordinator through the end of 2016 so remember he can always use all the support he can muster so consider becoming a part of his team. When Ed steps down as coordinator the end of 2016 he will have something like 16 or 17 years as coordinator and is hoping another detachment member will take over the reins as coordinator or the program will have to pass to another organization.  

                                The SSgt Walter F. "Trae" Cohee III Detachment # 115 of the Marine Corps League, is the local Toys for Tots designated community organization that has been collecting toys for area children for over 32 years. Rather than to duplicate an already outstanding web site the following will direct you to many important and informative links on the Toys-for-Tots Foundation web site starting with the Foundation itself.

On the opening page of the below link you will see 'Find Your Local Campaign'. On the drop-down menu select your state and 'GO' then select your city and check each link to obtain all the information you need for your area.

More details regarding the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys-for-Tots program may be found on the following link.

For those of you on the Eastern Shore of Maryland please read on.

The year end report for the 2015 Toys for Tots program is as follows:

 11269 toys were distributed to 5534 children in Wicomico, Somerset, Worchester, and Easton  

On or about November 10, 2016 please remember to support our 2016 Toys for Tots campaign by donating a new, unwrapped toy at one of the area business toy drop off locations. All toy donations are distributed to children in the area in which they are collected.

All financial contributions received locally, are used to purchase toys, and supplement our toy collection campaign. In 2015, our Toys for Tots program distributed 11,269 toys to more than 5,500 children on the lower eastern shore.  For this we thank the citizens and businesses on Delmarva for their generous support.

 For full complete information on where to donate a toy or make a monetary donations on the Eastern Shore please click on the below link and go to any and all links at the top.

Many very important dates for special Toys-for-Tots events may be found on the following link.

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity is the fund raising, funding and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991.

The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community.

Below is some past history and photo's of what the Toys for Toys Program is all about.

Mid-Shore Board of Realtors donates to Toys for Tots

Easton –The Mid-Shore Board of Realtors® donated $1,200 to the Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot County Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  The Mid-Shore Board of Directors selected Toys for Tots as one of their charities due to the increased need in the three counties.  “With so many families struggling, the REALTORS want to make sure all children have something special this time of the year; says MSBR President Val Brown; and Toys for Tots is excellent at distributing toys in our communities.

The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program collects new toys and distributes them at Christmas to needy children in the community and provides a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters, allowing them to experience the joy of Christmas.  Sgt. Greg Manning serves as the Toys for Tots coordinator for Talbot and Caroline Counties and plans on purchasing stocking stuffers, board games, and various toys to be distributed to over 250 families.  The Dorchester Toys for Tots representative Sgt. Ed Hearthway noted the money will be spent locally with the gifts being donated to The Salvation Army in Cambridge.  Over 100 families in Dorchester will receive these toys to make their holiday season brighter.  For more information on how you can help call 410-860-0167 or visit

The Mid-Shore Board of Realtors (MSBR) has over 400 REALTORS® and Affiliate members from Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot Counties.  Established in 1953, its mission is to serve its membership and the community by developing and delivering products and services that elevate the standards of the Real Estate Profession and through collective efforts, promote the preservation of the right to own, transfer and use real property.  The Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS® is located at 8615 Commerce Drive in Easton.

Pictured Left to Right: Karla Wieland-Cherry/MSBR Community Service member; Sgt. Greg Manning/Talbot & Caroline County Toys for Tots Coordinator; Ed Hearthway/Dorchester County Toys for Tots Coordinator; Shelby Roney/MSBR Community Service Chair and Val Brown/MSBR President.


 The detachments “2013 Toys-For-Tots Program” is over and it was a huge success thanks to the efforts and hard work of the likes of Marine Ed Hearthway the detachments area Toys-4-Tots Coordinator and all the detachment members. Without them it would have been a sad Christmas for thousands of children on the Eastern Shore. However, they could not have done what they did without the help of thousands of others that work tirelessly behind the scene in support of our program. Below are just some of these folks and organizations and the detachment “Salutes each and every one of them for a Job Well Done”.


(Below) Franklin P. Perdue School of Business (Toys collected)

(Below) Franklin P. Perdue School of Business (Toys collected and donated to T-4-T’s)

(Below) Franklin P. Perdue School of Business (Students on the right of the above picture)

(Below) Franklin P. Perdue School of Business (Students on the left 2 pictures up)

The below ladies (Michelle & Ellen) represent "The Perdue School of Business" at Salisbury University. Commandant Andy Bouma is presenting them with a token of appreciation from the detachment.

Below Commandant Andy Bouma present Fred Howard with a token of appreciation from the detachment. Fred is the Veterans coordinator at Wor-Wic Community College in Salisbury.

(Below) Commandant Andy Bouma and Marine Ralph Smith with Kim Hall and Sarah Mishler from Nationwide Insurance in Princess Anne who delivered the T-4-T’s collection box from their office.

(Below) Commandant Andy Bouma and Marine Ralph Smith with Donna Dunning and Kim Hall from Nationwide Insurance in Princess Anne who delivered the T-4-T’s collection box from their office. Although in the spring of his life in his mid-80’s Marine Smith is always available with a helping hand.

Below is six year old Jake Gordy. His mom said she started him giving to Toys for Tots three years ago and he wasn't about to break the streak in 2011 because the collection boxes had been picked up so he brought his donation to our Commandants house in time for his gifts to be distributed.

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