QUANTICO , VA, UNITED STATES --
As the holiday season approaches, many Marines seek ways to spread joy and make a difference in the community. Fortunately, the Quantico Toys for Tots program provides a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to do just that.
Toys for Tots, a Marine Corps Reserve community action program that brings the joy of Christmas to less fortunate children across the nation, relies on the generosity of individuals and organizations to donate toys and time.
“I like looking in the warehouse knowing a couple of thousand toys sitting there equals a couple of thousand kids being helped.” Sgt. Cody Schuck, Quantico Toys for Tots coordinator
Sgt. Cody Schuck, with Delta Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, is the Quantico Toys for Tots event coordinator, and he enjoys participating in volunteer events such as going to schools and engaging with the students. However, he finds satisfaction in working in the warehouse as well.
“I like looking in the warehouse knowing a couple of thousand toys sitting there equals a couple of thousand kids being helped,” Schuck explained.
Thanks to the efforts of Marines and civilian volunteers, the warehouse in Fredericksburg, VA can sort, organize, package, and load thousands of toys each day for pickup by various organizations and charities in the local community.
This year, the Quantico branch is on track to distribute more than 145,000 toys to 125,000 children.
“We are the biggest program for the area. We currently serve 16 counties in Virginia,” said 1st Sgt. Brittany Clayborne, Delta Company First Sergeant.
Marines who wish to volunteer for holiday events in the local area will get to interact with the community by accepting gift donations, reading books, and participating in games.
“We need Marines to volunteer for events after Thanksgiving, as this is when the program really ramps up,” Clayborne emphasized. With anywhere from 20 to 30 events per week, Marines have ample opportunities to get involved and contribute to the Toys for Tots mission. Events will continue until Dec. 12.
Volunteering for Toys for Tots is not only a wonderful way to give back to the community, but it also offers personal satisfaction and career development opportunities. By documenting their hours, Marines can earn a Certificate of Commendation and progress toward other awards, such as the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal or the President's Volunteer Service Award.
Interested Marines should contact the local Toys for Tots coordinator for more information on volunteering at the distribution center, as well as details about upcoming events and how to sign up for them. This holiday season, you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need it most.