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NEWS: Civilians Fill in for Deployed Marines on Charity Toy Drive

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posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 06:30 PM
With large numbers of U.S. Marines on active duty in Iraq, civilian volunteers in Chicago have stepped in to continue the Toys For Tots charity gift drive. The program usually run by the Marines, had only 28 Marines available to help this year compared to over 400 last. Over ten thousand underprivileged children received gifts from the program last year. According to the national coordinator, Chicago is not unique. Many wives of those Marines have also taken their husbands place.
CHICAGO - Civilian volunteers have rushed in to help run the Marine Corps' annual Toys for Tots drive because the soldiers have their hands full in Iraq, making sure tens of thousands of gifts reach children around the country in time for Christmas.

Sgt. Rita O'Reilly said there were only about 28 Marines and reservists available to help sort the small mountains of toys that began accumulating at a Marine training center; about 400 were available last year.

When the public learned of the manpower shortage, the flood of calls began.

"They were pouring in so much they filled up our voice mail," said O'Reilly, a reservist with the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment in Chicago. "We wouldn't have succeeded without them."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

With all the doom and gloom that we have been reporting as of late its is nice to see that the Christmas spirit lives. How many children would have been effected had people not stepped in? This would have been one of those uncounted casualties of the war. My own family spends time at the Second Harvest Food Bank in the Bay Area sorting food and preparing grocery bags to distribute to needy families year around.

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