The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, supported the Marine Toys for Tots program Dec. 8 by delivering toys and games to families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and recovering from multiple hurricanes in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The team conducted the event in collaboration with Hasbro, Inc., product philanthropy nonprofit organization Good360, and, of course, Santa Claus.
The Blue Angels’ C-130J logistics and support aircraft, affectionately known as “Fat Albert,” flew toys into Lake Charles Regional Airport where Marines from Marine Forces Reserve units along with a host of volunteers unloaded the toys and delivered them to the local Toys for Tots coordinators in the surrounding parishes who will then distribute the toys and games to families in need for the 2020 holiday season.
“When we received the call from Santa asking for a helping hand with an early toy delivery, we knew we were the right team for the job,” said Capt. Rick Rose, lead U.S. Marine Corps pilot of the C-130 demonstration. “We are so grateful to help in any way we can and support families around the Lake Charles area. Spreading the holiday spirit of giving and joy is what it’s all about.”
Throughout 2020, Hasbro has partnered with Toys for Tots to distribute toys and games to children who were most impacted by the pandemic. The Lake Charles community endured major hurricanes on top of a year that brought extraordinary challenges to so many.
“At Hasbro, we are proud to continue our longtime partnership with Toys for Tots, donating one million toys and games to support children across the nation in 2020,” said Hasbro’s Director of Global Philanthropy and Social Impact Kevin Colman. “Play can help children gain a sense of normalcy during times of upheaval so we hope this donation of Hasbro toys and games will bring some joy to the children of Lake Charles this holiday season.”
Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving and Toys for Tots’ newest partner, has opened the door for relationships with thousands of local nonprofits through their vast network allowing Toys for Tots to distribute toys in previously unsupported areas. Good360 works closely with partners on the ground to provide critically needed goods throughout all giving phases of disaster recovery.
“This year Lake Charles has not only been dealing with the devastating effects of the pandemic, but also with multiple destructive weather events that have left thousands of residents without homes and basic necessities,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360. “Our partnership with Toys for Tots allows us to bring joy to children and families undergoing the most challenging of circumstances, and it is our honor to take part in this distribution event with the Blue Angels.”
Santa, through his U.S. Marine Corps connections, originally reached out to the Blue Angels to seek alternative transportation early this year, and the Blue Angels offered their Marine C-130 aircraft and crew in support to fly these much-needed toys this holiday season.