Upstate reps ask Amtrak to reconsider Toys for Tots decision
Aug 13, 2018 5:30 am
Madison Iszler and Eric Anderson are reporting for the Times Union U.S. Rep. John Faso is one of three upstate members of Congress asking Amtrak to reconsider its decision to stop operating the Toys for Tots train, which distributes winter clothes, toys and other items to upstate families every year. In an August 9 letter to Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson, Faso, U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik and Paul Tonko said the train is "a beloved and endearing resource that many of our region's neediest families rely on...Discontinuing this train service will mean approximately 40,000 children and their families will not benefit from donated gifts and much needed winter hats and gloves," they wrote. "We implore you to reconsider." This year would have been the 20th anniversary of the Marines' Toys for Tots campaign. The train almost did not operate in 2017, but a last-minute intervention from Stefanik and Tonko helped to save the service. However, in a statement issued last week, the company said, "Amtrak's objective is to operate its core, scheduled train service safely, on time, and efficiently, and must therefore decline to operate this charter. Amtrak will continue to proudly support the Toys for Tots program through the collection of toys at participating stations." Read the full story in the Times Union.