Kauaians come through again for the keiki

It is a little-known fact members of the U.S. Marine Corps League – Kauai had access over the last five years to toys and money from their counterparts on O’ahu, for the annual Toys For Tots campaign.

A tribute to the giving-until-it-hurts nature of Kauaians is that, during that time, the members of the U.S. Marine Corps League – Kauai never once took advantage of that O’ahu offer.

“Kaua’i’s people have taken care of their own,” said Frank Kleckner of the U.S. Marine Corps League and one of the men in charge of the Toys For Tots program on this island.

“They just come out and give all kinds of toys,” he said.

And money.

Enough donations of money and toys have come in that at least 120 bicycles and tricycles will go to needy young Kauaians this Christmas, Kleckner said.

U.S. Marine Corps League – Kauai leaders got $1,000 from officials at Wal-Mart, $500 from the helpful hardware folks at Ace Hardware, $200 for leaders of King Auto Center, $550 from officials at Coppertone, and $1,000 in U.S. Marine Corps League – Kauai funds from raffles, fairs, and other fundraisers, to name a few donors, Kleckner said.

“Wal-Mart is being wonderful,” with associates there putting the bicycles together, which are stored at Ace Hardware/Ben Franklin Crafts on Rice Street in Lihu’e until they are distributed to needy young Kauaians by officials and volunteers with The Salvation Army and other organizations, Kleckner said.

Many private donors pitched in, too.

“None of this could have happened without the people of Kaua’i. Whatever way I could say ‘thank you,'” he wished to, he said.

“Without them, it’s a lost cause,” said Kleckner, adding that everything collected on Kaua’i stays on Kaua’i.

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps League – Kauai have been stationed outside entrances to Wal-Mart and Kmart on weekends this month, accepting unwrapped toys for the campaign.

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