"It was a blessing that we were able to meet in this crisis," he said.
While Roman repeatedly encouraged the shoppers to "have fun" during the spree, he also said it was important to allow people to see where the money for these toys is going and how many toys can be purchased, giving children happiness in the holiday season.
"My main focus for the shopping spree is to show people where the money is going," he said.
Shoppers were asked to choose toys that were $15 or less, as Roman said the group wanted to get the most bang for the buck and acquire as many toys as possible. Shoppers were also asked not to purchase any type of toy guns or wooden toys as they did not meet the safety standards of the program.
The Marines began collecting the toys on Thursday, Oct. 1, and will conclude the collection period on Tuesday, Dec. 22, so that all of the toys can be distributed by the end of the holiday season, Roman said.
Nancy Loomis, one of the shoppers from Dunkin Donuts, was choosing a G.I. Joe toy for a young boy.
"It's very important to help the less fortunate children," she said.
Ruth Ann Turner-Greenwood, a general manager of the Ivo Garcia Network of Dunkin Donuts, said that she was glad to be helping her community.
"It's important just to be able to help out the community and the less fortunate," she said.
The Marines are currently focusing on toys for children infant-aged to two years old and six to 12 years old, Roman said. Collections will continue through November and December and donations from the community are welcomed, he said.
If you are interested in making a toy donation to Toys for Tots, visit the Capital District Toys for Tots Web site at www.albany-ny.toysfortots.org for a complete list of donation sites, or drop off toys at your nearest Toys R'Us.
For more on this story, check back at www.spotlightnews.com, or read the Wednesday, Nov. 18, print edition of the Colonie Spotlight.