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Kids, adults donate to Toys for Tots drive in Victoria

Camille Doty

By Camille Doty
Dec. 10, 2011 at 6:10 a.m.
Updated Dec. 11, 2011 at 6:11 a.m.

Thomas Daughtrey, left, and his siblings, William and Tiffany Daughtrey, donate a toy to Pfc. Jenny Solis during the Toys for Tots drive. Members of the National Guard and U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program collected toys at H-E-B Plus! on Friday and Saturday.

Adam Daughtrey wanted to teach his children about the spirit of giving.

On Saturday, the naval officer and his family donated gifts to the Toys for Tots drive.

"My family received help when I was deployed, and I want to return the favor," he said.

The Victoria resident said that he's grateful for the support his family has received. Daughtrey has been on active duty for 10 years.

Crossroads residents such as the Daughtreys gave toys, and in some cases, money to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program at the H-E-B Plus! on Friday and Saturday.

Some members of the National Guard helped to load the military truck. Faith Family Church of Victoria will later distribute the toys.

The drive's objective is to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas, according to the Toys for Tots website.

In some cases, the national campaign helps children up to age 12. But in many communities, support is extended to 16-year-olds.

Edward Salazar, of the Jack Ringel Marine Corps League Detachment 540, greeted customers as they walked through the grocery store doors.

"We do it every year; it's something for the kids," said the 73-year-old retired DuPont lab supervisor.

Jeff Couch became a first- time father three weeks ago. His family donated blankets and a baby toy.

"I really don't need a reason to give a toy to children," Couch said. "I just want the kids to have a nice Christmas."

Tiffany Daughtrey, Adam's daughter, got emotional when she spoke about giving to other children.

"It's important to help less fortunate kids," the 10-year-old Aloe Elementary School student whispered as she held back her tears.

Her mother, Shannon Daughtrey, said her fifth-grade daughter is generous in nature. She asked her mother if she could donate to the Salvation Army at school. Tiffany also will take the blame to spare her younger siblings from getting in trouble.

"We're teaching our kids that it's not about receiving - but giving," said Shannon Daughtrey.

The mother of six said she wants this holiday season to be as normal as possible. Her husband will be deployed for one year to Kuwait on Jan 2.

"We want things to stay the way they are, so it doesn't affect them as much that Daddy's going to be gone," she said.

The Daughtreys said they have a budget and try not over-indulge their children with elaborate gifts.

And their donation of two military play sets and a baby doll will help boys and girls have a brighter Christmas this year.

Shannon Daughtrey said she left her job to spend more time with the kids while her husband is away.

It's been a blessing for her to have the support of her loved ones.

Adam Daughtrey said the holidays can give some teachable moments, but people should be thankful all year.

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