Hook Santa up with Toys for Tots and the U.S. Marines and there’s nothing he can’t do. Kotzebue, Alaska is proof, as this combination just made the dreams of many boys and girls come true in the remote town.
Remote is the keyword here, too. Kotzebue is 26 miles (42 kilometers) above the Arctic Circle and 549 miles (884 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage.
To reach Kotzebue, the U.S. Marines flew a KC-130 via the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 from out of Okinawa, Japan, the Associated Press reports.
Once there, the Marines then took commercial flights and snowmobiles to reach an incredible 2,500 children in 11 villages, the Juneau Empire adds.
According to the Department of Defense’s official Twitter, “Marines from the 4th Law Enforcement Battalion distribute toys to children in remote villages in support of the Toys for Tots program in Alaska” as part of Operation “The @USMC helps Santa in Alaska.”
As many Outsiders know, it’s the U.S. Marines themselves who are responsible for the Toys for Tots Foundation. The beloved organization works “around the clock to make sure Santa’s sleigh will be filled and ready to deliver toys this Christmas!”
While the only option for most to help with TFT for years was through toy donations, the foundation now accepts online donations. “We value the contributions of generous people like you: 97% of your online donation goes directly to our mission of providing toys and other gifts to less fortunate children,” their official website reads for Christmas 2021. How’s that for helping Santa with his work?
Santa Calls in the Big Guns: U.S. Marines
But no matter how you donate, it’s all about the kids.
“When you can see the smile through the mask, you know it’s a big, genuine smile,” Cpl. Brendan Mullin says, who took photos of their mission with Santa. Mullin says he heard the boys and girls gasp when their Marine Santa walked into a Pre-K classroom.
“It’s really just to benefit kids. The sparkle in the kids’ eyes, that makes it worth it,” adds Capt. Keith G. Lowell, a Marine stationed in Anchorage. Lowell oversaw the mission to Alaska’s Northwest Arctic Borough, and was instrumental in making this a Christmas these Alaskan tots will never forget.
Toys for Tots has been doing so since 1947, too, and shows no signs of stopping. The non-profit is run by the Marine Corps, and is responsible for 18 million toys going to over 7 million less fortunate tots every single year.
Since 1947, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has helped provide support during the holiday season for kids in need. Watch for more information.U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Merry Christmas from all of us here at Outsider! And as always, thank you to our U.S. Marines for all they do for this country and the world.