Marines at Grissom begin annual collection of Toys for Tots

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Chris Massey
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Since 1947, the Marine Corps Reserve has helped bring the joy of Christmas, through the gift of new toys, to America's less fortunate children.

Marines from Detachment 1, Communication Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group, carry that responsibility through the Toys for Tots program here at Grissom.

The mission of the Toys for Tots program is to collect new, unwrapped toys from the beginning of October until mid-December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less-fortunate children in the local community.

Sgt. Kersten R. Harrison, motor transport automotive maintenance technician, is heading the campaign for the unit this year.

“During this pandemic, I think right now, it’s more important than ever that we pay really close attention to ensure that no kid misses a Christmas,” said Harrison.

Although the name is “Toys for Tots”, donations benefit children of all ages.

Donation boxes will be placed at multiple locations throughout Grissom and around the local area.

Detachment 1 is responsible for collecting and distributing toys in Howard, Miami, Grant, Cass, Fulton, Wabash and Tipton counties.

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 the Detachment 1 Marines, as well as 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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