By Ed MickleyDecember 9, 2010
CORPUS CHRISTI ARMY DEPOT, Texas (December 8, 2010) -- Employees of the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) delivered hundreds of bicycles and thousands of toys to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for their "Toys for Tots" program, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010.
The Marines were very thankful if not slightly overwhelmed, having to make several trips with four trucks to gather all the toys. The depot provided two trucks to aid in transporting the toys to the Marine Corps' facility.
"It's incredible, said Lt. Col. Angel Cuellar, officer-in-charge, Inspector-Instructor, Co. C, 1st Bn, 23rd Marines. "I've never seen a donation like this before."
Every year, CCAD employees, contractors and partners fill decorated "Toys for Tots" boxes scattered throughout the depot to help the Marines provide for underprivileged children in the Coastal Bend. The depot is one of the top five contributors in the region.
"These people support us every year, each year getting better and better," said Cpl. Laura Martinez. "Without them, it's possible we couldn't do it. They help us out every year."
"We do it because we're really fortunate and can help out the kids," said Leo Gonzales, protocol assistant. "It's a good feeling to be able to do that."
According to Larry Simone, CCAD's director of quality and this year's "Toys for Tots" coordinator, "We delivered 414 bikes and over 5,200 toys. And to everyone at CCAD, thank you for making this a success."
"I've had 26 years in the service at this point and been all over the world and never have seen anything like what I've seen at this depot," said Col. Christopher Carlile, CCAD commander. "I'm completely amazed and honored to be the commander. I cannot believe the giving spirit of this depot."
In 2009, CCAD filled four, three-quarter-ton trucks and a pickup with 1779 toys and 133 bicycles. Marines received a total of 53,491 toys for the 19,207 children in the Coastal Bend area.
The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve "Toys for Tots" Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. The goal of the program is to install a message of hope to less fortunate children that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.