LIHUE — There are so many keiki that need toys for Christmas, and so little time to collect, said Capt. Rod Green, commandant of the Kauai Marine Corps Reserve unit, and the Kauai coordinator for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
“Our goal is to collect at least 5,000 toys for keiki to brighten their holidays,” Green said. “With Thanksgiving coming a week later, there are only three more weekends to get everything together.”
The Marine Corps Reserve unit was in front of the Walmart store over the weekend with its familiar Toys for Tots toy train collection bins.
“People have been very gracious and generous,” Green said. “We’re getting a lot of help. One of our agencies, the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center, has an event coming up in less than two weeks so we need to get toys for that event ready.”
Earlier in the day, Jim Jung, a veteran of the US Coast Guard, spent time greeting customers and on Green’s afternoon shift, U.S. Army veteran David Hall was spending part of his day helping with collection efforts.
“I still have to work as security after I’m done here,” said Marine Ralph Blake who was helping at the afternoon shift. “We do this for the kids.”
Toys from the collection are distributed to local social welfare agencies and churches for children who might not otherwise receive anything for Christmas.
“We work closely with The Salvation Army,” Green said.
For children who might fall through the cracks, Green said they, as well as groups wishing to help, can turn to toysfortots.org.
“We’ll be here every weekend through Dec. 22,” Green said. “We can use everyone’s help to make this Christmas bright for our less fortunate keiki.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.