This holiday season will be the 71st year of the U.S. marines Toys for Tots program.
Thanks to a $1,000 check donated by Shopko, Marines with Toys for Tots got to go on a little shopping spree this morning.
Staff Sgt. McCarley and Sgt. Shaw roamed the aisles of Shopko, clearing out full sections of toys. This is staff Sgt. McCarley's second year working with Toys for Tots. He said him and Sgt. Shaw are just a couple of big kids having fun buying some toys for those that need it the most.
"Right now we're going around we are collecting toys, we are shopping just really trying to get our name out. We have bins out in about 88 locations around Billings," said Staff Sgt. McCarley.
Toys for Tots is helping 900 families this year and they still have room for a few more on their list to sign up. Staff Sgt. McCarley said Toys for Tots is going to turn the MetraPark Expo Center into a big toy store.
"The primary people we are looking for are less fortunate children in our community. This is the Yellowstone County Toys for Tots program and we are going to be collecting now through December 8th. Then December 11th through the 15th we are going to be distributing these toys out from the small expo center to everybody that had signed up," said Staff Sgt. McCarley.
Even though Shopko donated a thousand dollars to Toys for Tots, the Marines still purchased an additional $400 worth of toys. You can find all the locations at billings-mt.toysfortots.org.
"If somebody is out shopping and they're picking up toys for their children and they decide they want to pick up one more they can just drop in one of those bins at any of our locations," said Staff Sgt. McCarley.
Toys for Tots weren't the only ones to receive a check from Shopko. They also donated a $1,000 check to Orchard elementary school, and a check for $500 to Pilgrim Congregational Church. The church has been dressing 30 kids for winter in Billings for the past forty years.