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U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ruben Lopez, a recruiter with Marine Corps Recruiting Sub-Station Orange, assists in collecting toys for the Winter Toy Drive 2020 in Anaheim, California on Dec. 6, 2020. Marines with Recruiting Station Orange County volunteered to assist California Love Drop and Purist with their annual toy drive to help local kids in need. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sarah Ralph)

Photo by Sgt. Sarah Ralph

Be A Part Of The Impact: RS Orange County Assist in local Toy Drive

8 Dec 2020 | Sgt. Sarah Ralph 12th Marine Corps District

The thing about the Marine Corps is that Marines are constantly moving from one duty station to the next. Their time in one location is not long, but the impact they can make is lifelong.

Marine Corps Recruiting Station Orange County was given the opportunity to help our local communities' effort in their annual Winter Toy Drive 2020. Purist, a unique collection of good people who share common passion in cars, motorcycles and the finer things in life, along with California Love Drop, an organization made up of local organizations and businesses trying to make a difference, co-hosted Purist’s eighth annual Winter Toy Drive.

Sean Lee, founder of Purist, explained that due to COVID-19, this year’s toy drive was not as large as previous years. Previously, they would have over a thousand cars show up with donations and collect over 25,000 toys. This year an estimated 500 cars came through the toy drive and donated roughly a 1,000 toys for kids in need.

“I come from an abusive background, and it is something that shaped me into who I am today”, says Lee. “Being able to do this toy drive and provide something back to the kids for the holidays is amazing. We want to come out here and make an impact.”

Cody Walker, with Reach Out World Wide, expressed how passionate members of Purist are for this event. “Even though Purist is about car enthusiasts, it’s also a chance for us to make an impact in our community,” says Walker.

There were hundreds of cars lined up with trunks filled with toys to donate. U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ruben Lopez, a recruiter with Recruiting Station Orange County, stood along with many volunteers helping unload all the cars with their donations as they pulled up. Lopez expressed his appreciation for the chance to give back.

“As Marines come and go off of this duty, we have to continue to be the face of the Marine Corps, contribute, and continue to do our part,” says Lopez. “It’s good for Marines to get out from behind their desk and assist as much as they can in their communities.”

The Winter Toy Drive was a pristine opportunity for the Orange County community to come together, and make a difference for families in need together. Marines may come and go from Marine Corps Recruiting Station Orange County, but the Marine Corps impact within the community will always stay the same.


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