Tafuna High School Army JROTC Toy Drive

Story and Photos byMAJ (R) Siimoa M.I. Galoia

Tafuna High School JROTC Spreads Holiday Cheer with a Successful Toy Drive

The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at Tafuna High School (THS) recently showcased its dedication to community service through an impactful Service Learning Project (SLP). This project, a Toy Drive for Tafuna Elementary School (TES), demonstrated the practical application of academic learning in real-world scenarios, significantly benefiting the local community.

On December 20, 2023, the THS JROTC Task Force (TF), consisting of two battalions, orchestrated the Toy Drive. Led by TF Commander c/COL Oelfa Fepuleai and TF Executive Officer c/LTC Isalei Liaiga, the Cadets displayed exemplary organizational and leadership skills. Their efforts resulted in the collection of over 350 toys and 480 smaller toys used as stocking stuffers, which brought joy to 300+ TES students from Kindergarten to 3rd grade.

The planning phase featured an informative briefing to THS Principal Tutuila Togilau and TES Principal Mine Taufetee, effectively outlining the project’s goals and methodology. This initiative garnered positive responses from both principals.

A highlight of the Toy Drive was the participation of two THS JROTC alumni, Mele Ah Ling (Class of 2022) and Saialii Taofinuu (Class of 2023), who recently completed Marine Basic Training. Their involvement in the project, following their graduation and military training, added a special dimension to the event, symbolizing the continuity and long-term impact of the JROTC program.

Generous contributions from various community sectors significantly enhanced the Toy Drive’s success. Notable donors included members from the Governor’s Office, U.S. Army Veterans and Retirees, active-duty members of the Marine Corps from the Marine Recruiting Office, and local business owners. Their selfless donations and involvement played a crucial role in spreading festive joy among the children.

The day of the Toy Drive was filled with festive cheer. THS JROTC Cadets, dressed in festive attire, distributed gifts to the excited TES students, creating lasting memories.

This project was more than a community service initiative for the JROTC Cadets. It served as an opportunity to apply their classroom learning in a meaningful way, enhancing their sense of personal and social responsibility. The project also improved Cadet attendance and engagement with the community, nurturing a profound sense of empathy and care.

The Service Learning Project by THS JROTC reflects the program’s commitment to community service and the holistic development of its Cadets. The successful execution of the Toy Drive, supported by THS alumni and the broader community, sets a high benchmark for future service projects, showcasing the enduring spirit of giving and empathy in the hearts of Tafuna High School’s young Cadets.