Airmen and Marines team up for Tots

Ms. Yvonne Roland chooses toys for her three children with assistance from Senior Airman Jessica Boprey, of the 88th Medical Group, Wednesday at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 82 union hall in Dayton. Base people organized to collect toys for the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program. (Air Force photo)

Ms. Yvonne Roland chooses toys for her three children with assistance from Senior Airman Jessica Boprey, of the 88th Medical Group, Wednesday at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 82 union hall in Dayton. Base people organized to collect toys for the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program. (Air Force photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFMCNS) -- The Air Force teamed up with the U. S. Marine Corps Reserves and the Dayton community this year to continue the tradition of Toys for Tots, a nationwide campaign designed to bring the joy of Christmas to needy children.

Because of deployments, the number of troops to carry out the holiday volunteer effort looked dim. The Marine Corps Reserve MP Company C of Dayton has 67 reservists deployed and another 147 in training and member said they found it difficult to collect and distribute the toys for the program in Montgomery County.

That’s when members of Wright-Patterson stepped in to lend a hand to their sister service.

“I asked if we could help when I heard that the local Toys for Tots campaign may not happen this year,” said Paul Tober, a contractor with the Air Force Materiel Command Inspector General Directorate.

Mr. Tober partnered up with Chief Master Sgt. Allen Coleman, AFMC Inspector General Directorate, to organize 53 local volunteers. The team collected more than 75 boxes of toys doubling last year’s collection, according to Mr. Tober.

In addition to toy collections, Wright-Patterson monetary donations totaled more $1,200, according to Mr. Tober. He said the money will be used to purchase gifts for the older age groups.

The idea for "Toys for Tots" originated with Diane Hendricks in 1947 when she handcrafted a Raggedy Ann doll and asked her husband, a Marine Corps Reserve officer, to deliver the doll to an organization that would give it to a needy child at Christmas. When her husband couldn’t find an organization that would deliver toys at Christmas, she told him that he should start one. The Marines adopted the name of the charitable organization in 1948.