Culture

The Osage Detachment No. 669 of the Marine Corps League joined forces with a Broken Arrow-based Marine unit and several local agencies and groups to donate hundreds of toys to Osage County children in need. This outreach effort is part of the Marines’ annual Toys for Tots tradition during the holiday season. On Dec. 17, MCL members gathered at Commandant Hollis Stabler’s home in Pawhuska to sort and distribute hundreds of new toys for those organizations seeking Christmas gifts on behalf of their young clientele. “Santa Claus’s toys are here,” said MCL Vice Commandant John Henry Mashunkashey while he helped open the tall cardboard boxes full of toys for sorting. (Marines working with Toys for Tots) contacted the MCL detachments to see who’s in need of toys, he said. The layers of toys in those boxes included: dolls, bath toys for infants, toy cars, jigsaw puzzles, and even pool tables. Osage County organizations whose youth clients benefited from this year’s Toys for Tots drive include: Osage Nation Social Services; Bigheart Community Foundation; Pawhuska’s Kiwanis Club; First United Methodist Church in Skiatook; Christmas for Kids in Pawhuska; Hominy Angel Tree; and the Ralston Community Activity Group. Stabler and Mashunkashey said the Osage Detachment received about 1,000 toys for children ages 0-14 which is close to the amount the detachment received last year. The MCL Osage Detachment is in its third year of distributing toys as part of the nationwide Toys for Tots program. The detachment, which has 60 members as of December, works with the Anti-Tank Training Company in Broken Arrow to collect the toys for distribution at Christmastime. Toys for Tots, a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve program, was founded in 1947 and focuses on distributing toys to underprivileged children nationwide.