ROGERSVILLE, Ala. — Toys for Tots... you've probably heard of it!
75 years ago, back in 1947, the program was established to, through the gift of a new toy, help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America's less fortunate children.
This month's Neighborhood Hero has dedicated over 20 years of his life to the Toys for Tots program.
"22 years ago, I needed help and Toys for Tots helped me. So, I've been volunteering ever since," said December's Neighborhood Hero and Toys for Tots Volunteer, Bobby Ray.
Toys for Tots is spearheaded by the Marine Corp. and although Bobby Ray is not a Marine himself, the relationship between himself and the Marines is mutually beneficial.
"It's a perfect relationship, honestly. Years and years ago, we helped him out and he's paid it forward, you know, 20-fold, and it's, it's perfect," said Sgt. William Morgan, this year's Toys for Tots program coordinator.
Morgan, was introduced to Ray a couple of years back, of course while volunteering, where it was made evident that this program is Ray's passion.
"This man lives and breathes the program. It wouldn't run the way that it does without him. Anything that we need help with or understanding, He's got it covered and he doesn't get paid for this. He lives and breathes the program and it's for the kids," said Morgan.
I'll let you read those words again, FOR THE KIDS. That's who Bobby Ray does it for...
"Every child deserves Christmas, and no matter if they've been good or bad," said Ray.
Making him, the official Toys for Tots Santa in the hearts of many...
"I had a little girl last year called me saying no because I took some stuff to her that I didn't know she wanted, but that's what she got," said Ray.