For those of you that "know" Russ you know that he has a really, really big heart. (Don't let him know I told you). He just has a true passion for helping people. Russ helped with the Toys for Tots when he was in the Marines and it is one of his favorite programs to assist with. The two below pictures are from when he was assisting them in November of 2000, shortly after we met (I did some digging this morning and found them - we'll have to show the boys tonight)
Dan Holiday from KFKF (a local radio station) teamed up with the 24th Marines (24th Marines is the reserve infantry regiment headquartered here in KC - the unit that Russ was in when I met him) and did Toys for Tots at the Wal-Mart by our house. Dan Holiday is staying on the roof of the Wal-Mart until 9400 toys are collected. So, we'd been planning this day:
Day 10 - Toys for Tots donation
Reid had fallen asleep on the way home from daycare and his reaction to buying toys for other kids was less than desirable for mom and dad. I'm ashamed to say he did pout a bit and then we sat on the kitchen floor and talked about how sad it would be to wake up on Christmas morning and not have a single toy. He got the lecture, perked up and was really excited to go buy "lots and lots and lots" of toys for other kids. Ryan seemed to understand as well.
We went to Wal-Mart, saw the marines on the way in and then proceeded to pick out some toys. We let Reid do the choosing and then mom did some convincing to switch to some that I thought were more value for the money, etc. We chose to make this purchase just for the toys for tots (although we needed bread and milk) hoping that it helped the boys visualize that none of it was for us. We didn't take sacks (our green contribution) and walked the toys right out to the marines. What a surprise when we walked outside and SANTA was there too! Both boys got a candy cane from Santa. Ryan said hi but hung back a bit. Reid gave each toy to the marine. We stuck around and watched our 5 presents on the total board bringing it to 3650 (they are pretty slow this year).
Despite Reid's rough start it ended up well and we walked to our car telling him that he just helped make 5 kids Christmas day a bit brighter.