East Valley Marines help Santa deliver toys

Denise Lott

Continuing their tradition of giving, members of the East Valley Marines, Detachment 1296, spent many of their December days driving U-Hauls and personal pick-up trucks throughout Phoenix. They were collecting donated toys for the Toys for Tots program.

One of the partnerships this year was with the Salvation Army. Many deliveries were made to their warehouse and then distributed by the Salvation Army to their families in need.

Each year, the detachment also includes a hands-on distribution. Our partner this time was the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, Chandler branch. On December 21, we had 34 volunteers who gave out 400 bags of toys. Each bag had at least three toys, equaling over 1,200 toys and eight bikes. Those volunteers loaded/unloaded, sorted and put on display 64 boxes of toys. All of this was done in seven hours!

The East Valley Marines have been active participants in the Toys for Tots program for many years. For some of the group involved, this is the most heartwarming day, as they are directly involved with the recipients and so can see the results of their weeks of efforts to collect these gifts.

Thanks to the Chandler Police Department, Microsoft – Chandler Fashion Mall for the pizza lunch, Ron Enderle for getting the trucks loaded and unloaded, the Boys and Girls Club for being such gracious hosts and our additional volunteers. A special thank you to John Van Houten and his son John for their guidance and expertise and to Barb Farmer for her coordination of the event.

East Valley Marines welcome new Marine members and associate members. Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Oakwood Country Club. To learn more, visit the website at www.eastvalleymarines.org.