Petty Officer 1st Class Daryk Brekke, an aviation maintenance technician at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, offloads toys from a MH-65 at Oahu’s Kalaeloa Airport Nov. 29 as part of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program. Photo by Petter Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle, U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard in Hawaii is partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to bring toys to needy children this Christmas season.
Coast Guard personnel at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point at Kalaeloa Airport on Oahu are accepting donations of new toys and, in some cases, transporting the toys on their Airbus Helicopters MH-65s. The pairing is just one of a multitude of partnerships among the Marines and members of other U.S. services, civil agencies at all levels and many American businesses to support the philanthropic effort.
Last year, Marines and Toys for Tots
volunteers distributed 18 million toys to 7 million children throughout the U.S.
Toys for Tots was founded in 1947 as an impromptu effort by William L. Hendricks, a public relations director for Warner Brothers movie studio and a major in the Marine Reserve. That year, he and members of his Marine Reserve unit collected and distributed toys to children in the Los Angeles area. The effort was such a success that the Marine Corps adopted it as a nationwide campaign the following year. In 1995, Toys for Tots became an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.
Walt Disney, a friend of Hendricks, designed the first Toys for Tots poster; it included a miniature three-car train that subsequently was adopted as the Toys for Tots logo. The Walt Disney Company remains the campaign’s oldest corporate sponsor.