Family puts on Toys for Tots in honor of fallen marine
FORSYTH, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The family of a fallen marine is using the season of giving to honor his death by helping underprivileged kids in a big way–collecting Toys for Tots to keep his memory alive.
“Collin was not one of those ones ‘oh, cry over me boo hoo’ types. He was not that guy. He lived life. He was passionate for life and his passion was Toys for Tots,” said Schaff’s mother-in-law Ariyl Fuentes.
Family and friends of Marine Corporal Collin Schaaff say before he passed, his love for children ran almost as deeply as his love for the marines.
“He was the type of guy that was always the embodiment of what our customs and courtesies and traditions are of the marine corps and we absolutely loved him and he took it to heart,” said fellow marine and friend Joshua Stalter.
“He loved to give he loved to give and watch the kids get excited,” said Fuentes.
So, when Schaaff died earlier this year in a plane crash, his family vowed they wouldn’t let his passion for helping children die with him.
“Truly he never is gone unless we stop talking about him,” said Stalter.
“People were asking us, ‘When are you going to do something for him?’–and our thing was, let’s do Toys for Tots we were going to make it an annual thing every year we’re going to do it for him.”
After seeing a need in Monroe County, his wife Sarah and her mother Ariyl took on the task of organizing the Monroe County Toys for Tots toy drive in his honor.
“I just kind of felt like this is what he would want because instead of doing a memorial where people would be you know sad or anything like that. We could just do something that would be you know just better,” said his wife Sarah.
In just a few hours on Sunday, they collected more than 200 toys from people all over.
“I am so thankful and so amazed at all the support that my town has to offer that people have to offer–anything and everything I cannot say thank you enough,” she continued.
And at the same time, turned their sorrows into something sweet.
“He would’ve loved it. He would’ve said thank you and he would’ve been right here in the middle of it loving every moment of it. This is just a little bit–this is just a little piece of what Collin did. Collin was one in a million,” Fuentes said.
If you’re interested in donating, Monday is the last day you can drop off toys to three locations in Monroe County: Connie Ham Middle GA Realty, FitCo Gym and Little Angels Daycare in Smarr.