Marine Who Received Toy Donations During Childhood Gives Back

He has been a Toys For Tots volunteer for 20 years

Every year, the U.S. Marine Corps teams up with Toys For Tots to bring children holiday cheer. 

Toys For Tots is a charity that gives kids in need gifts during the holiday season. Volunteers collect toy and cash donations, which are then wrapped and given to children. 

It's an organization that is very important to local Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Trey Chairsell. 

"When I was a young child about 30 years ago, it didn't look like Christmas was going to come for me and my younger brother," LtCol Chairsell said Friday. "It was a pretty rough divorce between my parents, a lot of animosity." 

Luckily, the community and the Marines stepped up to bring the two boys presents. 

He and his younger brother received toy cars, sports equipment and other gifts. But one donation in particular shaped the rest of his life. 

"One of the things I got was a book about the Marine Corps," LtCol Chairsell said. "At that time, I had no intention of joining. Obviously, I think it had a little bit of an impact on my life. Here I am twenty plus years in the service." 

This year at the NBC 7 Toys For Tots drive in the Walmart parking lot at Murphy Canyon Road, LtCol Chairsell was collecting thousands of gifts for children and cash donations. 

After the toys are collected, he will help to sort them by gender and age to make sure the right toys get to the right children. 

NBC 7 and Toys For Tots raised over $90,000 and more than 11,000 toys Friday. 

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