JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The U.S. Marines and the city of Johns Creek have made sure that hundreds of children in the city will have a merry Christmas with something under the tree.
Fire Chief Jeff Hogan estimates more than 1,500 toys will be collected at the Johns Creek fire stations as well as City Hall, Park Place and Newtown School (the city’s active adult center).
Showing up Dec. 18 at Fire Station No. 61, were Johns Creek resident Ron Green and his sons Cord and Cameron. Green is a familiar sight around the fire station this time of year. He annually donates around 300 toys for the Toys for Tots campaign.
“Well, I have been very blessed in my life, and it’s a privilege to be able to give something back to the community at this time of year,” Green said. “Every child should get a present this time of year.”
The Marines’ annual Toys for Tots campaign has been a tradition since 1947 when a group of Marine reservists in Los Angeles collected more than 5,000 toys and distributed them. The toy drive was so successful and received so much attention that the Marine Corps adopted the program and took it nationwide in 1948 and every year since.
Mayor Mike Bodker said he was appreciative of Green’s efforts and all of the residents who contributed to the drive’s success.
“The great thing is, it’s all about the kids,” Bodker said.
Hogan said his department does not see the collection of toys at fire stations as “extra duty.”
“We love being a part of this. It makes everyone feel great,” he said.
There certainly weren’t any Grinches at Fire Station No. 88 as two vehicles were unloaded and stacked in the bay of the station.
USMC Sgt. Patrick Bradley was on-hand to accept the presents and take them to Dobbins Air Force Base for ultimate redistribution in the Johns Creek area.
“We work with the local churches and nonprofits in the communities to hand out the toys to families. They know who should get toys and we are happy to deliver them,” Bradley said.Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.