CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Toys for Tots has helped millions of kids every year.
“When I received toys, I felt like the happiest kid in the world with a big smile on my face,” said Daisy Lopez.
Lopez knows the impact of the program firsthand.
“Lots of wrapping paper all over the living room,” she said.
Some gifts were bigger than she was when she was born.
“I spent three months of my life in NICU,” she added. “Born at 25 weeks, weighing one pound.”
Knowing life is such a gift, it was always important for her family to make the best memories.
“There was an annual event that we would attend as a family,” Lopez added. “We would do a motorcycle parade. We would donate toys. As a child attending the Head Start program, I actually received toys one year.”
She didn’t know it was the United States Marine Corps. and her community that made her Christmas more special.
“I realized that the toys I received one year were from Toys for Tots when I was in high school and started volunteering and distributing toys,” Lopez said.
She helped register kids for Toys for Tots at a local shelter.
“They have about 75 children who unfortunately don't have parents or they're living there by themselves,” Lopez said. “My ultimate goal is to see them smile because you don't know what goes on at their house. You don't know the struggles they face. You will make an impact that they don't realize now. In the future, they will remember that one special event that happened as a child and it will change the trajectory of their lifetime.”
She said it was Toys for Tots and being a NICU baby that inspired her to give back.
“I want to dedicate my life to medicine,” Lopez said, I'm actually a volunteer firefighter at Annaville Fire Department. I hope to be an emergency medicine physician and help others when they're alone.”