SAN DIEGO -- It’s the holiday season and Carillo Elementary School students and staff showed their holiday spirit by collecting donations, such as food and clothing, for Marines from Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39, Dec. 20.
The MAG-39 Marines showed their appreciation for the school by bringing a color guard, approximately 40 Marines, an MK27 extended-cargo truck and Santa Claus to the ceremony held by the school for the Marines.
“It’s my first time participating in this 14-year-long tradition with the school and our Marines,” said Capt. Cory Baxter, human affairs officer in charge, MAG-39. “It feels great being supported by the school and showing our appreciation by being part of the ceremony and interacting with the kids.”
During the ceremony, students performed in musical acts including dancing, singing and performing sign language to songs such as “Forever Heroes.”
“This was probably the most special ceremony out of all the 14 years this has been running,” said Nancy Danielson, one of the main coordinators of the donation ceremony at Carillo Elementary School. “We usually get about six pallets worth of donations each year, but this year we managed about 10 pallets of donations.”
When the donations were presented to the Marines, Capt. Justin Savino-Sullins, pilot and human affairs officer, MAG-39, expressed his thanks and shared some words with the students.
“It’s not just about how smart you all are; it’s also about how hard you work,” said Savino-Sullins. “Marines are their best when they work hard together.”
Students and Marines worked hand-in-hand after the ceremony was completed to fill the cargo truck with all the donated goods for the Marines and their families in need.
The students continued to show their appreciation for the Marines by giving out handmade gifts and asking for autographs.
This tradition is a strong one both Marines and the school appreciate and MAG-39 hopes it will continue each year as long as possible, said Baxter.