The Department of North Carolina, Marine Corps League considers it an Honor and Privilege to recognize America's future leaders for earning the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Award with the Marine Corps League's "Good Citizenship Award" Certificate.
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What began as an effort to provide emotional support to these wounded Marines and Corpsmen quickly expanded into a need to provide material support in the form of needed health and comfort items. The injured Marines arrive at the hospital with no more than the hospital gowns on their backs. While the hospital provides the basic toilet items, very often more is needed.
Currently, in addition to personal comfort items, the Marine Corps League provides; financial assistance to the families who are visiting their Marines (taxi vouchers, restaurant vouchers, phone cards and limited housing funding) outings to professional baseball games for “outpatient” Marines (they are recognized by the PA announcer), C-D players, C-Ds, DVD movies, television sets and DVD players for the rooms (due to a shortage of TV’s in the hospital). Airline tickets and travel money to wounded Marines for emergency leave. We hold monthly cookouts on the hospital grounds for the walking wounded their visiting families and the hospital staff to lift their spirits and speed there recovery.
The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.
The principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located. In communities without a Reserve Unit, the campaign can be conducted by a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally veteran Marines, authorized by Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign. Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations.
Many of the youth in this country are not physically able to meet the challenges of everyday life. Poor eating habits, lack of physical exercise and low self-esteem contribute to this desperate condition. Through the National Youth Physical Fitness Program and the National High School Physical Fitness Championships, the Foundation has been able to help thousands of kids turn their lives around. Many of the young men and women who participate in these programs are exposed to positive role models for the first time in their lives. Many have never had too meet a challenge, attain a goal, or have the opportunity to dream a dream. The United States Marines Youth Foundation, Inc. is keeping those dreams alive…one school and one child at a time.
The National Youth Physical Fitness Program encompasses students from elementary school through junior and senior high school. The program is designed to complement, not replace, existing curriculum and to be easily implemented in any school situation. Students are tested in five basic exercises and are awarded scores indicative of their general fitness level. Students can earn one beautiful full-color certificate for each year of participation.
This program provides a means for adult leaders to actually measure the fitness level of participating students throughout the school year. More importantly though, this program, provides hope and offers our youth an opportunity to become part of something bigger than themselves, an opportunity to be challenged, and an opportunity to grow as individuals. It teaches students to respect their bodies and helps them build and maintain a personal resistance to drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
The program provides a mental, moral and physical challenge and establishes reachable goals. The fitness program also provides important recognition, which leads to pride in one's self and is in many cases a building block for future self-improvement and is offered to every school and youth organization free of charge.
Christmas in the Marine Corps is special to the Marine Corps family. Our family includes loved ones at home, our children and our fellow Marines. With different religions, different nationalities and a profound discipline, the common trait of all Marines, is this brotherhood, our family. We all bow our heads to honor our fallen without prejudice to race, religion or color. We adamantly insist without our own regard that no Marine is left behind. We all vow to protect our families and our fellow Marines with a natural instinct known only by those in our ranks.
Marines gather toys across the Nation each year only to give them back to less fortunate children. We help families of deployed Marines, Veterans, handicap children, and homeless Veterans at Christmas. We do this without the need of reward or recognition; this is Honor. While others celebrate this festive time of the year, we serve on the battlefield far away from our loved ones surrounded by adversities unknown to most. We call this Courage since valor is simply one of our assets.
There are many gifts you can give at Christmas. If you are not deployed, protect the families and kids of those serving abroad as they are your family. If you see a Vet, thank him and wish him a Merry Christmas; take particular care of Kids, they are our future. We have Marines in medical facilities across the Nation; let us never forget any of them. If you have a moment or a free day, stop by and say Merry Christmas to any one of them; this in itself is a reward.
The gift you need to give to your fellow Marines and their families is simply to wish them a Merry Christmas. This gift requires no wrapping and is the greatest gift of all. Never question if you or your family make a difference, as the answer is clear.