(aka) Marine Toys For Tots Foundation
18251 Quantico Gateway Drive
Triangle, VA 22172
It was Christmas Eve and Delores, a single mother struggling to make ends meet, was working at the kitchen table painting a Quaker Oats box. She was trying to make it look like a little toy drum. This would be her three year old son's only toy for Christmas. He was almost four, but she still hoped he wouldn't recognize that it had been a box of cereal earlier in the day. Delores had nothing for her one year old daughter, but she was again hopeful that her daughter would be too young to really understand what Christmas was all about. Fortunately, someone had given her a cheap Christmas tree for her family to enjoy.
As Christmas Eve continued Delores became more depressed at her situation. Her husband had left her, she had no real family to help and she was penniless. The job she had was barely enough to pay for a scant one bedroom apartment and to put a little food on the table. She could handle not having nice things, but it hurt deeply not being able to provide for her children this Christmas like other parents were able to do.
At the height of her misery there was an unexpected knock at her door. It took her a minute to respond since she had to hide the toy drum she was painting in the kitchen. When she finally got to the door she was joined there by both curious children. As she opened the door she found no one there. Only a box filled with toys was on the stoop; some for a little boy about three and some for a little girl about one. Of course both children were excited and they just knew that Santa Claus had left those toys for them. Delores knew differently. She saw two Marines get in a car across the street and drive away.