First lady donates to Toys for Tots

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by Darlene Superville

QUANTICO, Va. (AP)—Delivering a red Christmas sack bulging with toys, first lady Michelle Obama appealed Dec. 16 for donations for older children for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual Toys for Tots program for needy children.

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SPECIAL DELIVERY—First lady Michelle Obama delivers Christmas toys from White House staff to the Toys for Tots Stafford County Distribution Center in Stafford, Va.

Mrs. Obama visited a Toys for Tots warehouse near Marine Corps Base Quantico to deliver a portion of the more than 500 toys collected during a White House drive. She helped sort a pile of toys for girls, and appealed for gifts for 11- to 14-year-olds after longtime volunteer and base public affairs officer Wilma Vaughn told her about the shortage of toys for bigger kids.

On the warehouse floor, bins marked for youngsters overflowed with goodies while those for older kids were almost empty.

“If you’re 11, you’re still waiting for Santa, and you still want to make sure that they have something in the stocking,” Mrs. Obama said.

She told Vaughn: “I’m going to go back shopping because we still have a couple of more days, and we’re going to pick up some more toys.”

President Barack Obama and the first lady personally donated toys to the White House drive, her office said. No details were given on what the items were, other than that daughters Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, helped make selections for kids in their age groups.

In all, Mrs. Obama brought a total of six bulging sacks—three red, three green—and two cardboard boxes of toys that the first lady’s office said included board games, a Barbie Corvette car, Legos, clothes and books.

Toys dropped off at this warehouse will be delivered to needy children throughout a nine-county area of Virginia. Other items from the White House drive, which continues, were to be sent to a distribution facility in the District of Columbia’s Anacostia neighborhood.

“We’ve tried to do our part at the White House,” said Mrs. Obama, promising to “be a part of this as long as I am in the White House.”

Since Toys for Tots began in 1947, Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million needy children.

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