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Justin Gordon
Toys4Tots Coordinator

12/21/17



 Explain your current job.

My current job is inspector/instructor, which is a … role of training the reservists for the drill weekends when they come in, as well as the Toys4Tots Coordinator for southern New Hampshire. … That entails getting the word out to the public, approving and having people fill out request forms to become drop site locations, request an event and also coordinate Marines to be at certain events throughout the public, throughout the community … as well as having the toys brought out to the warehouse, helping out with the sorting and the distributing and the counting. … Once the orders are complete with the number of toys for the number of kids that is requested, the toys are then bagged and then put in a pile and those [partnering] organizations come to the warehouse and [the unwrapped toys] are distributed out through those organizations … to the individual families within the community. 
 
How long have you done this?
This is my first year as the coordinator but my fourth year doing Toys4Tots. 
 
How did you get interested in this kind of work?
The first time was 2014, the first year that I came to this duty station in Londonderry, New Hampshire. The wintertime came around and they said, ‘Do you know what Toys4Tots is?’ And I said, ‘I’ve never heard of it.’ … They told me about the program and that’s when I first got involved doing events, being out there in the public in our uniform. … Once I went on my first event, I just loved being out there and collecting the toys and seeing the smiles on kids’ faces, parents’ faces and those people who are donating for this great cause.
 
What kind of education or training did you need for this?
Typically, they’ll choose an NCO [non-commissioned officer]. … [Someone who] will be able to run the program and [handle] all the amounts of stress that’s put on one for this program. Because there’s a lot that goes into it. The training that you get is you go to a course with the foundation that’s run down in Virginia. They give you the [standard operating procedure] of how everything is run and they give you classes, they give you on-hands on how to do everything and … the process of it all. It’s about a week-long course.
 
How did you find your current job?
I’ve been on the staff the longest. So the staff is pretty much new. They said, ‘Hey, Sgt. Gordon, you know most of the community. This is your fourth year doing it. We’re going to have you be the coordinator this year.’ So, they selected me as the coordinator.
What’s the best piece of work-related advice anyone’s ever given you?
Communicate with everyone that’s involved.
 
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of this work?
The amount of hours that would be put into it, not being at home at all. … Many, many hours.
 
What is your typical at-work uniform?
It depends. If we are doing an event or speaking with the media or going to be in the public eye, it’s going to be my dress blues uniform. If I’m just out going to get toys on a pick-up, it’s going to be casual clothing, blending in with the population and just picking up toys.
 
What was the first job you ever had?
The very first job I ever had was a customer service representative for Domino’s Pizza for Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 
 
— Ryan Lessard  





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