Grissom Marines kick off Toys for Tots drive

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Courtney Dotson-Essett
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

For over 70 years, the Marine Corps Reserve has worked to make the holidays a little brighter with its Toys for Tots program.

 Marines from Detachment One, Communication Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group, are leading the charge here on base, for the campaign that kicked off October 1.

Staff Sgt. Michael Walmsley is spearheading the event that will collect and distribute items for seven local counties.

“We collect items for newborns through age 17,” said Walmsley.

 “We get a lot of the fun toys like Barbies but sometimes people forget that we collect for newborns and older children,” he added.

The mission of the 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.

"We're responsible for collecting and distributing toys in Howard, Miami, Grant, Cass, Fulton, Wabash and Tipton counties,” said Walmsley. “Every toy we get stays in those seven counties.”

The collection point at Grissom will be at the Base Exchange.

 Toys for Tots dates back to 1947 when Maj. Bill Hendricks, a Marine Corps reservist, founded the program in Los Angeles. During that first campaign 5,000 toys were collected, with the first toy being a handmade doll.

In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official activity of the Marine Corps and an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.

Grissom Marines have continued to support the program throughout the years.

For questions about the program, call (765) 688-4404.

Grissom is home to not only the Detachment One Marines, but also the 434th Air Refueling Wing, the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. Men and women from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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