Yes, Colonel, there is a Santa Claus.
John T. Durkin, coordinator of Toys for Tots of West Pasco and a retired USMCR colonel, had the Christmas spirit reaffirmed to him this week. Presumed corporate ambivalence was replaced by overwhelming and unexpected generosity.
A pair of banks that had banned Toys for Tots donation boxes from their west Pasco branch lobbies, instead, donated toys and cash to the charity. The contributions came on the heels of Durkin's public complaints about TD Bank and Wells Fargo, which had cited their no-soliciting rules in rejecting the donation boxes.
Afterward, TD Bank delivered a van full of toys to drop-off locations and said it wanted to partner with the charity in the future.
Wednesday, Wells Fargo followed up with an announcement of a $50,000 donation to the Toys for Tots national charity, including $10,000 to be earmarked for west Pasco.
The altruism is commendable and should enable Toys for Tots of west Pasco to fulfill its mission to provide for the needy. A year ago, the group delivered 23,500 toys to 7,500 children in west Pasco and Tarpon Springs.
The prospects of those children and others having a more joyous Christmas morning just got a little brighter thanks to the banks' benevolence.