• Skylar Taylor lends a hand and carries a tricycle for loading as his mother, Crystal Taylor, follows him. Skylar donated his entire piggy bank savings to this year's campaign in memory of Ryan Johns.

    Youngest giver

    Skylar Taylor lends a hand and carries a tricycle for loading as his mother, Crystal Taylor, follows him. Skylar donated his entire piggy bank savings to this year's campaign in memory of Ryan Johns.

  • Steven Morgan and Debbie Caudle, both employees of the Office of Continuous Improvement, help carry toys to load for the 2011 Toys for Tots. Red River Army Depot employees donated 500 bicycles, more than 1,350 toys and 6,200 non-perishable food items toward the local campaign.

    2011 RRAD Toys for Tots Campaign

    Steven Morgan and Debbie Caudle, both employees of the Office of Continuous Improvement, help carry toys to load for the 2011 Toys for Tots. Red River Army Depot employees donated 500 bicycles, more than 1,350 toys and 6,200 non-perishable food items...

  • Red River Army Depot Deputy Commander Patton Tidwell talks with Marine Sgt. Edward C. Knox while Freddie and Katie Johns look on. RRAD dedicated its 2011 Toys for Tots campaign to the memory of Ryan Johns, son and brother of Freddie and Katie and former employee of RRAD.

    RRAD 2011 Toys for Tots Campaign

    Red River Army Depot Deputy Commander Patton Tidwell talks with Marine Sgt. Edward C. Knox while Freddie and Katie Johns look on. RRAD dedicated its 2011 Toys for Tots campaign to the memory of Ryan Johns, son and brother of Freddie and Katie and...

  • Employees of Red River Army Depot's Heavy and Medium Tactical Division raised $8,500, which was used for the purchase of 267 bicycles and tricycles. As a whole the depot collected 500 bicycles and more than 1,350 toys for the Toys for Tots campaign.

    All for Ryan

    Employees of Red River Army Depot's Heavy and Medium Tactical Division raised $8,500, which was used for the purchase of 267 bicycles and tricycles. As a whole the depot collected 500 bicycles and more than 1,350 toys for the Toys for Tots campaign.

  • A line of Family of Tactical Vehicles wait to be unloaded at Red River Army Depot's annual Toys for Tots campaign. Employees donated 500 bicycles, more than 1,350 toys and 6,200 non-perishable food items toward the local campaign.

    Trucks with bikes

    A line of Family of Tactical Vehicles wait to be unloaded at Red River Army Depot's annual Toys for Tots campaign. Employees donated 500 bicycles, more than 1,350 toys and 6,200 non-perishable food items toward the local campaign.

  • Skylar Taylor lends a hand and carries a tricycle for loading as his mother, Crystal Taylor, follows him. Skylar donated his entire piggy bank savings to this year's campaign in memory of Ryan Johns.

    Youngest giver

    Skylar Taylor lends a hand and carries a tricycle for loading as his mother, Crystal Taylor, follows him. Skylar donated his entire piggy bank savings to this year's campaign in memory of Ryan Johns.

RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, Texas (Dec. 13, 2011) -- Depot members joined together to help the children of the local communities. This year the depot broke its own Toys for Tots record as members donated 500 bicycles, over 1,350 toys, 6,200 non-perishable food items and $875 in monetary contributions.

The depot dedicated the 2011 campaign to memory of Ryan Johns, who worked in the Heavy and Medium Tactical Division of the Directorate for Maintenance.

Johns, who passed away Sept. 25, spent his life helping others.

"Ryan inspired all of us to do better and be better," said Freddie Johns, Ryan's mother, during the Toys for Tots closeout ceremony Dec. 6. "He loved kids from the youngest to the oldest and I'm so glad I got to be his mom. It feels like it was only for 10 minutes because 27 years went by in a hurry."

The Heavy and Medium Tactical Division raised $8,500 which was used for the purchase of 267 bicycles and tricycles. Coordinators for the Heavy and Medium Tactical Division were Tim Pennington and Kathy Casteneda.

Several employees from the division wore shirts during the pickup ceremony with Johns' picture. The shirts were designed by Crystal Taylor.

Taylor's son, Skylar, heard his mother talking about the Toys for Tots campaign and how the depot was dedicating it to Johns. He decided he wanted to play a part as well. The 9-year-old immediately emptied his piggy bank which contained $100 and donated it to help purchase toys.

Everyone who remembers Johns recalls his generosity. In 2007, he donated $1,000 to the Toys for Tots campaign.

"As a mom I was a little concerned when we let him come out here and work with all of you," said Johns as the small crowd laughed. "We didn't have anything to worry about though because you all saw the real Ryan and you embraced him. You loved him and he loved you right back."

Several depot members are already discussing how to make next year's Toys for Tots Campaign better than ever.

"As you can see, Toys for Tots is something very big at this depot and something we all take great pride in," said Deputy Commander Patton Tidwell. "The people here understand how much this campaign helps our local community. I believe we will make next year even better than this year, but this year will always be special with the dedication to Ryan."

Over 20,000 items have been donated by the defense complex since RRAD begin participating with Toys for Tots more than 20 years ago.

Toys for Tots begin in 1947 when Maj. Bill Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children.

"The people at Red River are very loving and giving and are aware of all the support that the local community has given to this depot over the years," said Mary Jayne Locke, depot coordinator for the campaign.

Page last updated Wed December 14th, 2011 at 09:31