CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Veterans Memorial baseball team members received the gift of giving Sunday morning.
The Eagles' players helped United States Marines distribute toys at the school's parking lot courtesy of the Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots campaign, and helped make sure no one left empty-handed.
Players said it was a service they were proud to be a part of.
“Well, it’s nice knowing that they’re having a good Christmas as well -- the less fortunate," said Eagles' junior pitcher Isaac Nease. "2020 has been terrible, and they’re probably not spending it as how they want to. Yeah, so it’s nice giving back to them.”
Sunday's event benefited 600 families, and Rocio Bates' family was one of the recipients. Bates said she’s extremely grateful for Toys for Tots this Christmas season, and they young men willing to give up part of their weekend to make sure others have a good Christmas.
“To be able to do this, and get their help, it’s just so wonderful,” she said.
She said this year, overall, has been rough for her friends, family, and her children, but events such as this one make the season much better for her loved ones.
“So they still have the Christmas spirit," she said. "And we were wondering 'How are we going to make it to where we don’t break that spirit?' ”
For the players, the opportunity to give back is the best part, and they said they look forward to participating again next year.
“Helping out," said sophomore Jordan Glover. "Talking with friends, and being able to do it for the community -- helping out kids.”
Team coaches and parents said having the boys participate in events such as this one helps teach the players about being part of a community.
“Part of our job is to teach these guys to be good young men as well and be productive people in society, so we’re really excited to see our guys get out here and share the joy with some of these families that are getting some toys,” said Veterans Memorial baseball coach Lee Yeager.
The United States Marines were on-hand to check in the many cars that came by, and helped directed traffic.
“Families have lost jobs, lost employment so this is just an easy way for us to give back to our community to help out the Marines that sacrificed so much for us and our country,” said Veterans Memorial Booster Club President David Nease.