MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School kicked of its 13th annual Toys for Tots Run aboard the Combat Center Dec. 5.
MCCES Marines gathered outside their school, the majority with toy in hand, to prepare for a motivational run to donate their toys.
“It’s a chance for the whole battalion to get together, get exercise and give back to the community,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Ted Drennan, the operations chief for MCCES.
From the start of the formation run to the commanding general’s building, the Marines’ voices carried motivational running cadences throughout the base.
As the formation came around the bend, Lt. Col. Charles Carroll, the MCCES executive officer, handed the first toy to Brig. Gen. Charles Gurganus, the Combat Center’s commanding general, to signify the passing of donation of toys to the base.
Marines in their dress blue uniforms stood in front of the collection trucks, while others stood in six truck beds receiving the toys. As each company of MCCES Marines ran by, the pile of toys in the trucks grew.
“It was a great feeling to be able to donate a toy,” said Sgt. Brittany Bucklew, a MCCES student.
After the final Marines ran by, the toys were rearranged on the trucks to ensure they were safe for transport to the Combat Center’s Reserve Support Unit for drop off.
“Our goal is to teach Marines to give to the community as much as possible,” said Drennan.
The total donation from MCCES Marines this year was between 1,100 and 1,200 toys, helping to bring this area’s Toys for Tots donations to 9,694 toys as of Monday, said Sgt. Nixon DeJesus, the noncommissioned officer in charge of Toys for Tots in the area.
The MCCES Toys for Tots Run is one of the single biggest donations every year, DeJesus said. The toys will be distributed to children in the Hi-Desert area throughout next week.
For more information on how to donate a toy, or to apply for your child to receive one, call the Combat Center’s Reserve Support Unit at 830-6861.