COPPERAS COVE — The Toys for Tots moving van had its doors open Saturday, and grateful parents stood outside in line, braving chilly temperatures to receive donations for their children.
The Toys for Tots program distributed toys in Copperas Cove for the first time this year as part of the Central Texas toy drive.
Dominique Bush works in Cove and picked up toys for her four children ranging in age from 1 to 8.
“This will help provide for our Christmas,” Bush said. “(Without the donation), I’m not sure what would’ve happened.”
The Marines, who work in Waco. said this year’s annual area toy drive collected 22,000 toys.
Many of the toys distributed Saturday were picked up Monday at Clements/ Parsons Elementary School.
The Marines picked up 10 bags of toys from the Kids Care Club.
Savannah Hamilton, of Copperas Cove, has three children, ages 2, 7 and 9, and she is pregnant with her fourth child.
She said Toys for Tots really made her children’s Christmas possible.
“The kids wouldn’t really get anything for the most part,” Hamilton said. “Fortunately, someone in my church told me about this and it was pretty easy to apply.”
Terry Washington, of Copperas Cove, was one of the few men standing in the line. He got toys for his son, 3, and daughter, 7.
“Without this (donation) the Marines are giving me, I am not sure what I would do,” Washington said. “I would probably have to borrow money from my mom or something. This surely is a blessing.”
The Marines in the moving van said toy duty was a blessing for them as well.
“The community gives us so much support, and still we are the ones that really benefit by getting to do (Toys for Tots),” Sgt. Justin Hanush said. “We volunteered for this. It’s an honor.”