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SCT Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Ciccaglione

The goal of an Eagle Scout Project is to demonstrate leadership while performing a project to benefit the community. It’s hard to find a more fitting description of what our toy collectors do. They demonstrate leadership and they certainly benefit their local community. So, it should come as no surprise that one 17-year-old’s successful toy drive collecting close to 1500 toys in New Jersey earned him the title of Eagle Scout.

Mark Ciccaglione’s project began in the summer of 2013, and culminated this past summer when he was officially awarded his Eagle Scout title, medal, and badge. He estimates that he put in over 50 hours of planning, executing, and managing the immensely successful toy drive.

Mark first got word out by distributing flyers to all of the houses in his town, going door to door and speaking with homeowners if they were home. Mark also reached out to his community in other ways, which included speaking at a few masses at his church, leaving drop boxes at the library, and setting up a table for donations outside of a toy store in town. Scouts ages 11-18 from Troop 80 in his hometown of Park Ridge, NJ, helped out by picking up toy collections and bringing them to his house.

Looking back on his project, Mark is very proud of what he and his community accomplished. Children at the New Community Corporation’s Early Learning Centers in Newark have a huge selection of good quality and educational toys to play with now. To show his appreciation he sent a thank you letter to his local newspaper, which was published.

To anyone who is in need of a non-profit organization to partner with, be it for an Eagle Scout Project or something else, Mark highly recommends working with Second Chance Toys. “It was my first choice and it was the best choice. They were easy to work with and they’re so supportive of people doing independent projects like mine needed to be. It was fun, but hard work at the same time -- it’s so rewarding when you look at the quantity of toys being donated to kids in need. That makes it worth it.”