Founded in 1775, a year before independence, the United States Marine Corps is the embodiment of honor, bravery, and devotion to duty. Being a member of an elite force like the Marines is something you earn, not something you’re given; this is why the Marines have such a strong sense of identity and pride. And as they say, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”
The Marine Corps is famous (and sometimes feared) the world over, but what isn’t so well-known is its connection to the Toys for Tots charity. Tough though they are, Marines have a soft spot for children. The story goes back to 1947. Diane Hendricks had a homemade Raggedy Ann doll she wanted to donate to a needy child but she couldn’t find an organization that would make it happen. She told her husband Bill, a major in the Marine Corps Reserve, that he and his Marine buddies ought to do something about it. Bill got in touch with John Hampton, a journalist who’d enlisted in the Corps and ended up a lieutenant colonel. They rounded up a few more reservists and before long, they’d collected over 5,000 donated toys. The following year, the campaign went national and Toys for Tots has since distributed more than 500 million toys.
Toys for Tots recently ran a really powerful public service announcement with a Marine Corps theme. We’ve posted it for you below. A little boy approaches a Marine guard and asks him if he’s Santa Claus. The Marine doesn’t move a muscle — his orders are obviously to stand there ramrod-straight, say nothing, and not get distracted by anything. Orders are orders and “Marine” is synonymous with “discipline.” But keep an eye on his left hand…
What did you think of this tough-but-tender Marine as Santa Claus? Let us know in the Facebook comments. Be sure to like and share: this is a great way to remind your friends that they might want to pick something up for Toys for Tots while they’re out shopping this holiday season.