NNI Tenant keeps Toys for Tots program thriving

George Ducanic during the Home project

George Ducanic, 82, is the longtime coordinator of the Marine Corps Reserve’s annual Toys for Tots campaign for southwest Fairfield County. This year he and his team will collect and distribute as many as 15,000 toys to needy children in the Stamford area.

Ducanic makes many lists, and checks them much more than twice. They’re written in several spiral notebooks with folded papers sticking out.

It’s how Ducanic keeps track of the 300 doughnut shops, diners, banks, bakeries, hair salons, hardware stores, gyms, flower shops, doctors’ offices and other businesses in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan that welcome a Toys for Tots donation box. Companies place boxes in their lobbies to collect toys from employees.

“Every year, I call each one to ask if we can set up a box. Then we deliver the boxes,” said Ducanic, a retired electronics technician and real estate broker. “Then I set up routes and pickup dates. I got a crew of half-a-dozen steady guys. Depending on the route, I tell them, ‘OK, do a pickup on Dec. 9, then go back Dec. 16, then make your final trip Dec. 19. I write it all down.”

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