NEW YORK - Staff Sgt. Robert Bacchus of the U.S. Marine Corps is on a mission.
"So what we have to do is go through each of these toys and figure out what the age and gender is and we go ahead and sort the toys in the aisles here," he said while demonstrating.
By the end of their assignment, Bacchus and his team of Marines will fill a Brooklyn warehouse with thousands of toys—all to be screened, sorted and selected for the Toys for Tots program. The goal is to give out more than 170,00 toys to disadvantaged kids who hope Santa will remember them on Christmas Day.
"This makes me feel great because I was born and raised in New York," Bacchus said. "So this means a lot to me."
With all the beauty and bustle this time of year brings, these Marines understand that not every family is financially equipped to celebrate the season.
"There are a lot of families who have to make a decision between paying for lights and water or getting their children toys for the holiday season," Bacchus said. "We get to take that burden off of them."
Based in Brooklyn, the 6th Communication Battalion trains for combat operations and is deployed globally.
"It is definitely a different type of action for sure," Gunnery Sgt. Grant Myrick said. "It's good to come out here and read some letters, figure out what's going on and be able to be like, 'Wow, we can have an impact on the community.'"
"Everyone is all hands on deck," Staff Sgt. Corey Banks added. "We put our other work on the back burner this time of year because we want the kids to know they're special as well."