Marines Used Snowmobiles And Planes To Deliver Gifts In Rural Alaska

Kids living in rural Alaska experienced a special Christmas treat this year thanks to Marines with the Delta Company, 4th Law Enforcement Battalion, Marine Forces Reserve.

Those Marines used snowmobiles and aircraft to support Toys for Tots by delivering toys to those in hard-to-reach locations.

Photo: Flickr/Savannah River Site License: CC BY 2.0

For non-profits and companies that support kids in need, it can be hard to extend charity through rural areas of Alaska due to accessibility issues – but that’s where the Marines come in.

The official Twitter account for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing shared a video of their dark take-off that was part of the present delivery, so you can get a taste of what the Marines faced:

According to Fox9 KSMP, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Keith Lowell said: “Really, it seems like a lot of trouble, but it’s not. To see the sparkle in these kids’ eyes when they see Santa Claus coming into their school. When they come up and they get a gift from Santa Claus, it…it’s so special.”

Fox9 KSMP reports that the toys are initially sorted at a base near Anchorage before the Marines transported them some 500 miles north to the city of Kotzebue.

Photo: Flickr/Chris Lott License: CC BY 2.0

Kotzebue sits just 26 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is home to around 3,000 residents, largely native Alaskan people (Iñupiat).

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kotzebue is not accessible by road from other parts of Alaska but can be reached by aircraft.

According to the Marines, they’ve been working with Toys for Tots since 1947 and distributes around 18 million toys and books to over 7 million children across the country.

This year, the Marines is celebrating its 75th year working with Toys for Tots and that’s a huge accomplishment! So many kids’ lives have been touched thanks to the effort they put into delivering toys.

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