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MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Base residents looking for a way to help those less fortunate this holiday season need look no further than a drop box outside the base exchange.

The U.S. Naval Information Operation Command’s First Class Petty Officers Association is leading a toy drive that could bring Christmas cheer to children in two countries.

Donations will be given first to families on base, and if there’s an excess, toys will go to local Japanese orphanages and to victims of the San Diego wildfires, said Petty Officer 1st Class Reginald Hendricks of NIOC.

Families on base who don’t have the means this year to spend much on Christmas will be the primary recipients of donated toys, Hendricks said.

“We’re mostly getting nominees from families where a member is deployed, where there’s multiple children in single-parent families,” he said.

Any family, regardless of military affiliation, can qualify, Hendricks said. The sailors are taking names from senior leaders on base, he said. Anyone wanting to nominate a family should do so through their first sergeant, command master chief or commander.

“Right now, we need more toys for toddlers, boys and girls, and more things for older teenagers, 15 to 18 years of age,” Hendricks said. The toy drive began Nov. 16 and runs through Dec. 16.

So far, base residents have been generous, Hendricks said.

“In the past two weeks, we’ve received roughly 200 to 300 items, including 10 bikes,” he said.

The drop box is located next to Cinnabon. Toys can be dropped off during BX operating hours. The sailors prefer toys not be wrapped.

For more information or to nominate a family on base, e-mail Hendricks at reginald.hendricks@misawa.af.mil, or call DSN 226-9041. Or contact Command Master Chief James Eaton at DSN 226-2899, or at james.eaton@misawa.af.mil.

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