LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The U.S. Marine Corps held their 34th Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade to help provide gifts for children who otherwise may not have a gift to open Christmas morning.
“There’s hundreds of children in Arkansas and around the nation that won’t have Christmas," Toy Hill Commander Bob Robbins said, "but thanks to the Marine Corps this is a nationwide program.”
Motorcyclists strapped gifts to their bikes and drove them from Rodney's Cycle House to the ‘Toy Hill’ at the Outlets of Little Rock.
“We had probably over 3,000 motorcycles come in today and one or two toys per motorcycle so that’s a lot of toys that helped us out for this year’s campaign,” Coordinator SSgt Joshua Peters said.
Monday, Dec. 3, the toys will be taken to homes who wouldn’t have gifts otherwise.
“The nonprofits screen the families and they report to me with their numbers and I fill their orders as they request them,” Peters said.
They’re expecting to collect over 20,000 toys.
“It’s for the kids, right. So I mean anything for the kids is always important,” participant LaMar LaGrant said.
One family takes pride in participating and has for over 30 years.
“We had this giant, rainbow-colored unicorn on that back of the bike. It was awesome. Helping out little kids that don’t have a Christmas, year I’m all for it,” Betti Rippentrop-Pridmore said.
They have watched the parade grow and gifts multiply over the years.
“It's the start of our Christmas tradition. Like, when we started doing it there was maybe a couple
hundred bikes and it was a fun thing to do and it's grown and it's huge and it's just for a good
cause, and I like buying for little kids,” Rippentrop-Pridmore said.
Toys can be dropped off year-round at the iHeart Media metroplex in Little Rock.