Help bring a smile to a child on a special dayMarine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is in full swing
Toys for Tots, which is a U.S. Marine Corps Reserves tradition has been hard at work for 60 years now collecting toys for children who are less fortunate than others.
More than 19.2 million toys were delivered in 2006 to over 7.6 million children, but there are far more needy children than toys that are collected every year.
With the help of retired Marines like David Wale from Smokey Point, who stands post in Haggen’s grocery stores greeting people, citizens in Lake Stevens and everywhere there
is a Haggen’s store can help make a difference.
“Haggen’s puts on a really good presentation,” Wale said.
There were stacks of neatly organized Hot Wheels and Barbie dolls and other toys behind where Wale stood.
He says he has been medically retired from the U.S. Marine Corps since 1971, but continues to be active in the community volunteering his time for different events.
“I served six years, two years in infantry and next four years in special operations,” Wale said.
According to him, the donations so far have been coming in at a good pace but more is always needed to help the children in and around our communities.
“People have been really good about their donations, and want to know how long the boxes would be here,” said Wale, adding “They’ll be here until about Dec. 22 or 23.”
Wale also said that the Marine Corps Reserves will be at all the Haggen stores, and explained that much of their instructions come from Ft. Lewis.
“Basically this all comes from Ft. Lewis and the Marine Corps Reserves there,” he said.
Wale added that he is from the local Marine Corps, League 1043 in Skagit, and would like to see more retired Marines at their League meetings.
As the day progressed, Wale said a number of people shopped for their groceries, then left the store and came back with gifts to donate.
“Some people have come in shopping, and ran back out and come back later with new toys from somewhere else,” Wale said.
There is also a holiday tree with names and ages of boys and girls from which anyone can select and give a gift to.
“People can pick-out a boy or girl from babies to the age of 13 to give a present to and it’s preferred that it’s new and in a box so it’s not contaminated with anything,” Wale said.
The mission statement of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during Oct., Nov., and Dec., each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
Shouldn’t every child have a toy to unwrap?