MURRIETA, Calif. - As Christmas approaches, Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 15, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, are supporting local communities by hosting Toys for Tots drives in Murrieta, Calif.
Approximately 55 Marines dedicated three weekends to supporting the Toys for Tots program, which collects new, unwrapped toys each year and distributes them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in communities around the country.
“This time of year is the hardest time for a lot of families,” said Sgt. Maj. John Paul Doring, sergeant major, CLB-15, CLR-17, 1st MLG, and native of San Antonio. “This program changes kids’ lives. There is something inside a Marine; something special that makes them devoted to something bigger. I absolutely believe the Marines enjoy doing this.”
Volunteers helped collect more than 4,000 toys and $4,700 in donations. They used the donations to purchase more gifts to distribute to families.
“It feels good to be giving back to the community,” said Lance Cpl. Austin Neff, a landing support specialist with Transportation Support Detachment, CLB-15, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “It makes me feel great that we can do something in addition to defending the country.”
“There are so many kids out there who are in need, and sometimes Christmas toys can’t be provided for them,” said Cpl. Cody Burris, a motor transportation mechanic with Maintenance Detachment, CLB-15, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “Every kid should have a Christmas. It’s an honor to be a part of this program,” said Burris, a 22 year-old native of Cincinnati.
The Toys for Tots Marine Forces Reserve Foundation has been warming children's lives since 1948 by bringing gifts to local communities. Since it was founded, the program has distributed more than 469 million toys to more than 216 million children.