Did you know that members of the Marine Corps League are Santa's helpers?

Each year the Marine Corps Leagues across the country collect donated toys for the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation. The toys are distributed to children who might not otherwise receive a Christmas present.

Last year the Schuylkill-Carbon Marine Corps League Detachment 629 collected enough toys to give to 1,167 registered children.

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, three members of 629 picked up toys donated to them by the Laurel Blossoms Red Hat Society at their annual Christmas get-together at the Blue Ridge Country Club.

"This is our third year of donating toys to Toys For Tots. Christmas is for children and we thought this was just a wonderful thing to do for the children," says Polly Lorchak of Jim Thorpe and Laurel Blossom's Princess.

From the luncheon, the toys will be taken to the Salem Bible Fellowship Church, the local distribution center. The pastor, Robert Johnson, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, also serves as Detachment 629's chaplain.

Distribution of the toys will take place on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

In order to receive these toys, children must be registered.

Families have two last chances to register and that will be on Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Community Thrift of Carbon County at 101 North 1st St. in Lehighton. To be eligible you must have a letter from your church or clergy, proof of public assistance or proof of unemployment. Only parents or legal guardians are permitted to register children and must have ID for themselves. For each child registered, a birth certificate and Social Security Card are required. The age limit is 14 years and handicapped children, 16 years.

Santa's three helpers from Detachment 629, Eddie Glassic, Leon Frohnheiser and James McHugh, thanked the ladies for their generosity.

Eddie Glassic says each member of 629 enjoys helping Santa Claus.

"When I wake up on Christmas morning, it gives me a great feeling knowing that there are children opening presents that maybe wouldn't have had any. That's why we do what we do."