Residents opened their hearts and wallets and donated hand and foot warmers, protein bars, magazines and other items to make the season a bit brighter for military personnel serving overseas. Roughly twenty 45-pound boxes were shipped to about 250 Marines just before the holidays.
Countless individuals and groups contributed to this worthy effort including Southern California Edison. The utility’s Irvine (Karissa Forster) and Fontana (Manny Navarro) locations donated more than 250 shoeboxes. Employees from across the company’s service territory spent their own personal time and collected items for members of the Headquarters Battalion of the 1st Marine Division.
Along with care packages, the public supported the children of Mission Viejo’s adopted troops by generously donating more than 1,000 unwrapped toys in specifically marked boxes at City facilities. The toys were handed out to over 600 children on Dec. 16 during a special party at Camp Pendleton.
The holiday spirit was also displayed when residents, schools, organizations/churches, committees and staff members joined forces and bought items on the wish lists of 32 Marines and their families in a special “Adopt-A-Marine” program. Roughly $6,000 in gifts was collected and distributed along with a little holiday cheer to those families. The City is truly grateful to everyone involved and thanks Karen McConnell and the Latter-day Saints Church, which raised over $1,000 and adopted six of the families.