Marines give back to the community

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - The Marine Corps here will be holding Toys for Tots events starting in October and continuing into December.

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - The Marine Corps here will be holding Toys for Tots events starting in October and continuing into December.

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas - -- The Marine Corps is working hard to be Santa Claus this year, as Toys for Tots gets started.

Toys for Tots started back in 1947 and has been working in San Angelo for the past 15 years. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. The Marines will work hundreds of hours to achieve their goal.

"People recognize that it's the Marine Corps," said Marine Staff Sgt. Joshua Ley, Marine Corps Detachment Toys for Tots coordinator. "They recognize that its military backed, so they know when they give they can trust who is involved in it."

This trust allows the Marines to help out people all across the country. Some Marines even find their own rewards from this charity.

"The most rewarding aspect is watching the families who are extremely grateful for the effort and the time we put into helping them find toys for Christmas," said Ley. "We help about four to six thousand kids per year in San Angelo. I don't know if there is anything that I would change about it."

Although, most active duty Marines will never get this chance to be involved in it. Marine Corps Reserve bases usually run Toys for Tots, which is why this is a rare opportunity for active duty Marine.

Ley said he choose to volunteer for Toys for Tots, because this is probably the only time in his Marine Corps career that he'll be able to do it. When the Marines leave here and go to their next assignment, they most likely won't have an opportunity to get involved with Toys for Tots, because only a few active duty bases participate.

However, Toys for Tots wouldn't be able to function without the help of the public.

"People love supporting it and Marines love volunteering," said Ley. "The community loves to back the Marines in our endeavor to help the children."

There will be several opportunities for the community to donate to Toys for Tots from October to December.

· Oct. 16 the Marine Corps will start having their toy drives at local businesses in the community.
· Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. is a Green Knights Motorcycle Run at Sealy Flats.
· Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. is the Angelo State University Military Appreciation football game.
· Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. is the Lakeview Women's Basketball game.
· Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. is the Lakeview Men's Basketball game.