Christmas, especially during COVID, brings new opportunities to serve. Auxiliary Member Bill Lee, also the Executive Director at the local charity Martha’s Kitchen, learned that the Toys for Tots program was in need of significant help with their Christmas toy program. Founded in 1947 and run by the United States Marine Corp Reserve, Toys for Tots brings the joy of Christmas and sends a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy.

New, unwrapped toys are collected in local businesses. Toys are then wrapped by volunteers and distributed to families in need. Due to COVID, many usual distribution locations are closed creating a surplus of unwrapped toys in their warehouse. Bill contacted the San Jose Hospitaller Committee to help fill in the gap.

In cooperation with the local Marine Reserve organizers, a Martha’s Kitchen delivery truck made two round trips and delivered 5,000 gifts from the Marine warehouse to Blach Construction facilities. Hundreds of gifts were picked up for home-wrapping by San Jose location members, and a toy-wrapping marathon happened on-site at Blach Construction on December 12th and 13th. Knights and Dames, along with family members and friends, wrapped thousands of gifts that weekend.

Wrapped toys will be distributed during a 3-day drive-thru event at Martha’s Kitchen December 19-21.

It’s a proud moment when we can assist our military in their long tradition of providing Christmas gifts to children who would otherwise receive nothing for Christmas.”

- Ken Hurley, Western Association Hospitaller