Friday, December 19, 2014

• Marines Toys for Tots 2014

On Thursday, December 18th, there was a toy drive at the Terri and Steve Holladay home in Windsong Valley.

The Marines and Toys For Tots were on hand to collect toys for underprivileged kids.
A look early in the day.

Toys were being dropped off from early in the afternoon to well after dark. Out front there were donuts, popcorn, fresh spun cotton candy, coffee and hot chocolate for the visitors.

Terri Holladay and Joni Beckman flanked by some our Marines.

For those that wanted to stay longer, there were other goodies inside.

What an honor it was to share some tri tip chili, and conversation, with a few of the Marines. Even though I've only gone shooting a few times, I asked about their rifle and pistol qualification badges. I didn't understand the inside lingo, but did understand that the badges weren't handed out like candy. They had to earn them.

Another look as the twilight was ebbing into night.

The Toys will be distributed through Western Eagle, a non profit food bank in Temecula.

Joni Beckman (pronounced like "Johnny"), the donation coordinator for Western Eagle, was on hand to pick up the toys. She was telling me how they typically get over 5000 toys donated to them for distribution in this area.

I asked her how parents learn about Toys For Tots.

"Some of them find out when they go to the Toys For Tots website, some hear from word of mouth, or they got toys in past years from us. Toys For Tots has criteria that parents have to meet in order to participate."

So how would a family contact you to participate?

Most people email me. If you go through the Toys Fot Tots website, they have my email address (

A big thank you to Terri and Steve Holladay for opening their home and putting on this event.

I look forward to next year's toy drive at the Holladay house. They really have been putting a lot of effort into the community, and I'd like to see this event become bigger with each passing year. ☺

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Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. —Helen Keller

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