PALMS DESERT, Calif., --
The Toys for Tots annual toy drive has provided holiday cheer to less fortunate and needy children for more than 50 years, collecting donations around the country.
“These toys are helping kids,” said Cpl. David A. Bernarl, supply clerk, 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, and Toys for Tots volunteer. “Helping one kid really makes a difference to them and their holidays.”
As part of the drive held at the Deep Canyon Tennis Club, Sgt. Kevon D. Brown, supply chief, 3rd CEB, and Toys for Tots volunteer, and Bernal set out for the club in Palm Desert Dec. 16, 2011, to retrieve more than 100 toys donated by club members.
“The program has been going on here for six years,” said Margo Munson, who established the Toys for Tots event at the tennis club.
Once the Marines arrived, they played a couple of rounds of tennis with a few members, who donated toys.
After, the Marines changed into dress blue uniforms to meet everyone.
Marines even took some pictures with them in front of the three tables, stacked with toys from end-to-end.
As Brown stood to thank the club members for all their donations, the crowd of spectators surprised the two Marines as they began to sing the Marines hymn.
By the end of the day, a truck full of new toys was bound for needy children around the area.
“The Christmas spirit is about giving and caring,” said Brown. “This program and the people who donated these toys have definitely helped in sharing that spirit.”