MARYSVILLE — Randall Murphy served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2002-06, but hasn’t been active duty in the seven years since. And yet, when Toys for Tots needed his help, he donned his sergeant’s dress blues to stand outside the Grocery Outlet in Marysville in the hot summer sun on Saturday, June 29, collecting food and financial donations for four Snohomish County food banks.
“Who wouldn’t want an excuse to put their Marine Corps uniform back on?” Murphy laughed, as he was handed enough bags of donated food to fill two shopping carts. “I also did the Toys for Tots toy drive last fall, so any time they need me to come volunteer, I’m there.”
Mary Butler, the local community organizer for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation of Snohomish County, explained that this was their first time sponsoring their own summer collection drive for area food banks, including not only Marysville, but also Everett, Lynnwood and Shoreline.
“Of course, we’ve supported other organizations’ food drives,” Butler said. “The support we’ve gotten from the community here has been amazing, which is the usual for Toys for Tots collection drives, so we never thought it would be anything less.”
Butler’s purview extends from Smokey Point to the King County line, so especially given that significant coverage area, she wants people to keep in mind that the food banks within that area are facing greater demand over the summer months, as children who receive free and reduced-price meals at school find themselves growing hungry.
“We feel it’s important to give back to the community that’s given so much to us,” said Butler, who touted Toys for Tots’ back-to-school collection drive at the Tulalip Walmart on Aug. 3. “And this is one incredibly generous community.”