As a flight test pilot at Corpus Christi Army Depot, the work that Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tony Luke does is crucial to the everyday goals of the workforce. For the past two years, however, he has gone above and beyond his normal duties and taken on the task of spreading Christmas cheer for children in need.

As the CCAD Toys for Tots coordinator, Chief Luke does not take his role lightly. To him, being part of a foundation whose focus is bringing joy to families during the holiday season is priceless. "This simple act, in the form of time and donations, promotes personal involvement that perpetuates well beyond the holidays," says Luke.

He also believes that CCAD's involvement in Toys for Tots serves as another stone in the foundation of trust and commitment being built within our communities, and efforts like this one are a direct reflection of the care CCAD's workforce has for this community. "Our message is simple," he says, "We care."

Last year, CCAD collected 38 boxes full of toys as well as a number of bikes and ride-on toys. When asked how this year's effort will be different, Chief Luke says, "There have been a few changes to the process this year, but the effort remains unchanged: to make a positive impact in the life of a child this holiday season through the 2017 Toys for Tots Campaign. In hopes of improving the experience this year, we have placed boxes in central location points for pick up by directorate, allowing them to place the boxes where they see fit within their areas."

Chief Luke believes that continuing this effort every year is important as the organization brings hope to families going through difficult times during the holiday season. When asked what his favorite thing about being involved in this effort, he says, "My favorite thing about being involved with Toys for Tots is knowing that our support is dedicated to making a difference in children's lives, especially during the holiday season."

CCAD is a registered toy drop site through the local Marine Reserve unit and the workforce is encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys in an effort to assist in ensuring the deserving children throughout the Coastal Bend enjoy the holiday season. Toys for Tots Corpus Christi covers three counties: San Patricio, Nueces, and Aransas. Donated toys are for children ranging from 0-14 years old and the distribution days will be Dec. 16-17, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sunrise Mall.

Registering children to receive toys can be done online by filling out a Toy Request Form by Dec. 1. To register a child, go to https://corpus-christi-tx.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.aspx (Marine Toys for Tots) and look for the family Toy Request Form. Select the link for individual families under GIVE & RECEIVE.

This year, each collecting unit is responsible for delivering their filled boxes to Sunrise Mall. The last day for toy drop off in the community is Dec. 1, but CCAD directorates are asked to bring their collected toys to hangar 44 on Nov. 29. The collection point will only be in operation Monday-Thursday 4 p.m. -7 p.m. to ensure all toys are delivered to Sunrise Mall on Nov. 30.

Chief Luke encourages everyone to take a few minutes to visit the website for more information. For anyone who may be hesitant about donating, Chief Luke wants to assure you that Toys for Tots is a proven organization whose mission is simple: to bring cheer to the families and children of the Coastal Bend communities.