This holiday season donate a toy or money to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program in memory and honor of Maria Lauterbach.

This holiday season donate a toy or money to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program in memory and honor of Maria Lauterbach.

About Toys for Tots Program:

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program

The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.

The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help needy children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation's most valuable natural resources - our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.

The principal Toys for Tots activities which take place each year are the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located and in communities without a Reserve Unit that has a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally veteran Marines, authorized by Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign. Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other purely voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toy and monetary donations.

According to her mother, Mary Lauterbach, Maria always loved the holidays especially Christmas. Along with her family Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach would attend midnight mass every Christmas eve and then bound into the bedroom at 5 the next morning shouting, "Everybody get up!"

Lance Corporal Maria Frances Lauterbach(November 17, 1987 – December 2007) of Vandalia, Ohio, was a United States Marine who went missing from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on December 14, 2007. At the time of her disappearance, Lauterbach was eight months pregnant.
Cpl. Lauterbach was preparing to testify that she was raped by a fellow Marine, Corporal Cesar Armando Laurean.The burned remains of Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child were found in a fire pit in Laurean's backyard. They also found a lot of her blood in Laurean's house in Jacksonville, N.C. Laurean has been reported as having tried to clean up the scene.

To find a drop off center near you or to donate to this cause go to: http://www.toysfortots.org/about_toys_for_tots/toys_for_tots_program/default.asp

1. donate to toys for tots this holiday season