For most of us, Christmas is a vacation, a holiday getaway from the hustle and bustle of the work week, a chance to catch up with the family, open presents, and create memories.
It’s a time for traditions, lights, snowmen, and holiday cheer— a celebration of all we have accomplished and an escape before ringing in a new year.
For the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, it’s a little different.
With the holidays, so too comes a three month initiative for their Toys for Tots program and a promise to collect new, unwrapped toys to distribute as Christmas gifts to needy children.
For them, the holidays aren’t always a vacation, but they are a chance to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas.
The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters, and this year, OnTrac is helping out.
Leslie Hodges, General Manager of OnTrac in the Los Angeles facility, has teamed up with her property manager and other corporate residents in the neighborhood to participate in this year’s program.
“I really think it is a good idea for a company to give back to the community,” she said. “We can make a big impact by participating in the efforts for an organization like Toys for Tots.”
Pictured (Left to Right): Randy Kelch, Ann Nelson, Leslie Hodges, and Jenifer Barnes.
In addition to Toys for Tots, Hodges has worked with St. Jude’s Foundation, United Way, AIDS Ride LA, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation— organizations that she holds close to her heart.
“It makes me feel like I can make a difference for someone who needs help,” she said. “The organizations that I have participated in have a personal meaning. I volunteered for them because I know someone who has suffered. I just know someone, in some way, is going to benefit from these causes— so if I can help, I will.”
The Toys for Tots box at the Los Angeles facility has already been filled up and was retrieved by the USMC Reserve December 9.