News: Charity event provides free presents to Pendleton families
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - With the holiday season just around the corner, tough financial times are affecting everyone during this gift-giving season. To bring about the joy of giving and holiday spirit without the detrimental cost to Marines, thousands of gifts were presented to Camp Pendleton residents to share with their families, Dec. 1-3.
The three day event was hosted by a program called Children Giving Gifts, a Christian non-profit organization that provides presents for kids to choose and then give to their parents. Their organization joined with the Marine Corps Reserve’s iconic charity, Toys for Tots, to create an event the whole family could enjoy.
“I want kids get to experience the joy of giving,” said Janeen Reiser, founder of Children Giving Gifts. “The service members fight so hard four our country, and this is just a small token of our appreciation.”
The duo-giveaway allowed children to shop around with volunteers who helped them choose the perfect present for their moms and dads, while the parents looked for presents in the other room. By the end of the three-day affair, both organizations plan to provide gifts to at least 3,000 children and their parents.
“We’re so grateful that organizations provide us with events like this because anything helps during the holiday season,” said Gunnery Sgt. John Rojas, a combat engineer with 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. “I can’t wait to see what my kids pick out. It should be interesting!”
The children got to choose between jewelry, picture frames, coffee mugs, key chains, sunglasses and other gifts for their moms and dads, while their parents browsed through tables of assorted toys.
“[Toys for Tots] gets so much support each year so we love to see some of it go directly to the Marines who help keep the program going,” said Gunnery Sgt. Ron Miller, coordinator for Toys for Tots. “We hope that this event also brings about further awareness of our program so we can continue to provide holiday spirit to families in need.”
Last year, Toys for Tots, which was founded in 1948, provided more than 200,000 toys to families who don’t have the means to afford presents for the holidays.
“Although what we achieved last year was extremely successful, there are still other families out there that we couldn’t provide to,” said Miller, explaining that there were a recommended 300,000 families who needed assistance. “We’ll take all the help we can get. There’s nothing greater than the joy of giving.”
Date Posted:12.02.2011 16:37
Location:CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
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