MARINE BARRACKS WASHINGTON -- “Dear Santa, It’s so hard out here. Please help us, in any kind of way you can,” wrote 12-year-old Washington, D.C. native, Kimberly Brown, in a letter to Santa.
Kimberly’s mother, Josephine, gave her daughter’s letter to a Marine guard on post at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., and asked him to deliver it to Santa. Brown made her modest request to Santa in hopes of securing a better Christmas for herself and her family.
When the Marine shared the letter with his fellow guardsmen, the “Leathernecks” became instantly endeared to the little girl and her family.
“It’s the Christmas spirit,” said Lance Cpl. Nicholas Griffin, Headquarters & Support Company, guard section. “When somebody asks for help with Christmas, I enjoy helping them, especially when they’re deserving. What matters most is how great their Christmas is.”
Instead of heading to the North Pole, Kimberly’s letter found its way into the hands of guard Marines from Headquarters and Support Company of the “Oldest Post of the Corps,” who were touched by the young girl’s words.
Working together to save the Brown family’s Christmas, Santa’s Marine Helpers quickly got to work raising more than $300 for presents, in addition to donations from a local Washington, D.C. hotel, and from the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program.
The gifts were presented at the hotel on Christmas Eve to a surprised and extremely grateful family. “I love it!” Kimberly’s mother Josephine Brown exclaimed. “I didn’t have money for Christmas gifts this year, so this is amazing!”
Presents included toys, a giant stuffed bear, and more than $150 in various gift certificates. Toys for Tots donated several toys, while the hotel hosted the gathering and provided a complimentary stay for the Browns to stay in over Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Brown’s family received the Marines gifts with open arms and bright eyes. Rounds of hugs and Christmas carols showed their deep appreciation and that was all the thanks Santa’s USMC helpers needed.
“I’m happy just seeing the look on their faces when the Brown’s opened the gifts,” said Cpl. Roger L. Ford, H&S Co., guard section. “Seeing a kid smile can make anyone’s day better.”
As the celebration continued, several guests reported glimpsing an unidentified flying object soaring high overhead. The pilot did not identify himself, but the Brown family and their Marine benefactors heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”