“Toys for Tots” Abandoned by Salisbury’s City Hall

Posted on December 3, 2016

Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney

♦ The “Toys for Tots” started back in the 80’s by individual US Marine units collecting toys for the underprivileged. In 1995 the Secretary of Defense approved this program as an official activity of the U.S. Marine Corps and an official activity of the Marine Corps Reserve. A private 501(c) (3) tax deductable foundation was eventually established. Charity Watch rates it an A-. The foundations program to support services ratio was 97:03. Their financial report is attached. This is an excellent charity for a worthy cause.



This organization in Rowan county is run by Arbe Arbelaez. Locals will remember that for many years the Krispy Kreme donut shop at 1428 W Innes Street, allowed local police officers to set up on the roof for a weekend to help publicize the effort.  The cops and donuts idea seems to get folk’s attention and the effort is always very successful.

Todd Paris at “Toys for Tots”

Salisbury’s City Hall was in the past very helpful, providing traffic cones and officers to work the event and the Fire Department usually brings the ladder and places a truck there at times in the past. This year Mr. Arbelaez sent out the usual emails to the Salisbury’s City Hall and got no response nor been offered any support whatsoever.

Union Volunteer Fire Department stepped into the breach and provided an antique fire truck. Two safely retired Salisbury Police Department Officers Mark Shue and Allen Waller stepped up to camp on the roof. Chris Graham of “Race Engineering” kindly donated a few race cars for folks to look at as well as a heated motor home and Chris Waller of Voodoo Custom Weapons provided lights and drop cords.

A second location at Wal-Mart is staffed by RCSO Deputy Mike Brady. That location has received no support from Salisbury’s City Hall this year either.

Both locations will be staffed around the clock (weather permitting) until dark Sunday December 4th. It’s easy, drive up hand them a new toy and drive away. No need to wrap it. Save your Tax detectable receipt.

Due to Fibrant massive losses of nearly $7,000.00 per day that must be withdrawn from the general fund and the resulting low wages for city workers and manpower shortages, it may just be that the City does not have the officers to spare. Anonymous sources within SPD inform us they are stretched thin and many are already working extremely long hours. The city hall has admitted to being around 15 officers short, however if you look back to 2007 staffing levels, it may be twice that number or more missing.

There could be a second reason for the absences. new SPD Chief Jerry Stokes. a fitness buff, instituted a new policy to get rid of “fat cops.” While giving officers some time to diet and work out, is sometime next year SPD is supposed to “trim the fat” down at SPD. Wonder how many good experienced officers have job applications out now because they are in their forties and fifties and can’t pass the POPAT fitness test anymore? Perhaps he doesn’t want his officers too near the Krispy Kreme’s “Hot Now” sign when it lights up.

Regardless of Salisbury City Hall’s legendary bad decision making, this is a great charity. Please come by and drop off a toy. Why not buy some donuts for the family to thank Krispy Kreme for their support. Like the donuts, it’s a drive through operation and you need not leave your car. Take the kids. Giving to less fortunate children is a wonderful life lesson that should be afforded to every child.

“Toys for Tots” at Krispy Kreme is Salisbury:

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