By: Courtney Harrington
It’s Christmas time again, and children all around the world are excited to see what they find under the tree Christmas morning. Unfortunately, many children fall short of the chance to receive anything this holiday season. Well this season, the Blue Angels are coming to the rescue for families in New Orleans.
Ever since Hurricane Katrina hit land in New Orleans, families around the area have been trying their hardest to recover as quickly as possible. This giving action is a part of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. The Blue Angels C-180, otherwise known as “Fat Albert,” is a large, efficient plane that is capable of carrying 137,000 pounds of cargo at a time. Fat Albert planes have been around since 1970 when they joined the “team” of the all-Marine Corps and are well known for their amazing flight trips. As they say it, Fat Albert is “Santa’s sleigh” this December.
The toys being sent to New Orleans this Christmas were donated by Lockheed Martin employees and Toys “R” Us. Thousands of toys such as dolls, footballs, basketballs and toy trucks were all loaded into the belly of Fat Albert for departure to New Orleans. “When you give a toy to a child, you’re telling them they’re not forgotten and the greatest investment we can do for this country is to invest in our next generation,” Captain Edward Jorge, a marine veteran, explained. Many believe that no child should have to endure the pain of not “getting” a Christmas. Some of the men in the marines who are helping with the operation are reminded of their own childhood with memories of not getting presents on Christmas. They want the children of New Orleans to have what they never had. “No child should ever feel that pain,” one of the men stated.
Luckily for one certain family, Christmas is looking extra bright. Kenneth Burrell is the father of two daughters and three grandchildren and has been struggling with coming up with the money to provide a Christmas for the five of them. “I can smile,” he expressed. Another big gift the Blue Angels can give this Christmas is men fighting in Iraq. The men boarded the planes to depart for their journey back to their loved ones. “You could hear these people cheering, and you could see the tears coming down their faces as they walked off the plane,” Jorge says. The people of New Orleans see the “men in the blue suits” as angels this December.