When I was in Junior and Senior High School, our basketball team played at the Marine Armory. I remember Christmas and the Marines collecting toys for Toy for Tots. It was amazing to see the junk people would give to the Marines thinking that some kid would want a rusty old bike. I could not believe that people would think that was ok. When we stopped playing at the Marine Armory, I stopped thinking about Toys for Tots.
The first Christmas Dale and I were married, I was working in a daycare at the local mall and pregnant with Rebecca and I had just start wearing maternity clothing. We would walk the children around the mall for exercise. It was a great way of window-shopping. One day after work, I was waiting for Dale to pick me up from work, so I decided to walk around the mall to waste time. As I walked past the Marine who was collecting Toys for Tots, he stopped me and asked if I was the pregnant lady from the daycare. He remembered me from the daily walked that day. I spend some time talking to him until Dale got there to pick me up. The next day, craziness broke out at the daycare. I had no clue what was going on until one of the ladies I worked with came to me and told me I had a guest. When I got to the door, there stood the young Marine in his dress blues (white gloves and everything) hold an old rocking horse. He asked me if I would like it for my baby because it was too late for him to give to anyone to fix it up. He did not know what to do with it. It brought back the memories at the Marines Armory. He also handed me new rattles that he had bought himself to thank me for taking the time to talk to him the day before. We did give the rocking horse to Rebecca the next year for Christmas. Since then our family tries each year to get a toy for Toys for Tots. It is a way to thank that young Marine.