The Marine Corps was founded back in 1775 and has since become a byword for bravery, honor, and devotion to duty. To an even greater degree than members of the other military services, Marines have a strong sense of identity and pride. The Corps is an elite group and becoming a member is something that’s earned. And as they say, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”
While the Marine Corps is justly famous, what’s less well known is its connection with the Toys for Tots program — tough though they are, Marines have a soft spot for children. It all started in 1947 when Diane Hendricks wanted to donate a homemade Raggedy Anne doll to a child in need but couldn’t find an organization that would help make it happen. She told her husband, Major Bill Hendricks of the Marine Corps Reserve that he and his Marine buddies ought to do something. He and John Hampton (a journalist who’d enlisted in the Corps and risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel) swung into action. Working with other reservists, they collected over 5,000 donated toys. The next year, the campaign went national and became a huge success. Toys for Tots has since distributed over 500 million donated toys!
The video we’ve posted below is a public service announcement about Toys for Tots. A little boy approaches a Marine who’s standing ramrod straight and politely asks if he’s Santa Claus. The Marine maintains a stony silence and doesn’t move a muscle. Clearly, his orders are to stand guard and not let anyone distract him. Orders are orders. But keep an eye on his left hand…
Did this Toys for Tots video warm your heart with its tough-but-tender Marine in the role of Santa Claus? Let’s hear from you in the comments at Facebook. Be sure to like and share: it may remind your friends to add a little something to their shopping list that they’ll donate to Toys for Tots.