Buckley Marines prepare toys for holiday season distribution

Buckley

Marine Corps Quebec Battery 5/14 uses a warehouse as a staging area for the Toys for Tots program Nov. 30, 2017, in Denver. The Marine Corps has been collecting and distributing toys to less fortunate children during the holiday season since the establishment of the Toys for Tots program in 1947. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke W. Nowakowski)

Buckley

Collections for the Toys for Tots program await distribution Nov. 30, 2017, in Denver. Thousands of toys are collected each year by the Marine Corps Quebec Battery 5/14 which distribute toys in seven counties around Denver during the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke W. Nowakowski)

Buckley

Sgt. Adelina Chavez, Toys for Tots coordinator for the Denver area, looks over inventory Nov. 30, 2017, in Denver. Chavez believes the program will deliver over 100,000 toys to children in need this season and took a lead in the program because she herself has benefited from donated gifts as a child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke W. Nowakowski)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

In 1947 the United States Marine Corps Reserve founded Toys for Tots in Los Angeles and had an initial donation of 5,000 toys. Fast forward nearly seven decades and the program has expanded throughout the nation distributing nearly 18 million toys annually. The goal of the program is to provide gifts to less fortunate children during the holiday season.

According to Toysfortots.org, the mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Last year, Marine Corps Reserve Unit Quebec Battery 5/14, who is responsible for several counties around Denver, collected and distributed over 100,000 toys to children in need for the holiday. This year they estimate they will have similar numbers.

“Two hundred nonprofit agencies have contributed donations to the program,” said Sgt. Adelina Chavez, Toys for Tots coordinate for the Denver area. “I have personally benefited from a program like Toys for Tots when I was younger and it’s great because we as Marines get to give back to the communities that support us.”

Information on how to donate to Toys for Tots in your local area can be found at https://www.toysfortots.org/.