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OKINAWA CITY, Okinawa — Okinawa Marines gave $2,000 to a local children’s home Tuesday and told the kids to take a hike.

Or camp out.

The money is to provide the children with activities outside the government budget earmarked for the home.

The donation promotes Marine Corps bases as an integral part of the Okinawa community, said Staff Sgt. Gabriela Parker, treasurer of the Headquarters and Service Battalion, Camps Foster and Lester Association.

The association, since forming 18 months ago, has given two monetary donations to Okinawa City’s Misato Children’s Home.

Parker said the association hopes to improve the quality of life for the 50 children, ages 1 to 18, who live in the home.

“It’s a good feeling giving back to the community,” Col. Glenn Wagner, the battalion’s commander, said after presenting the check to the home’s directors.

“Our battalion has been involved with this home for some time doing volunteer work … cleaning up and painting,” Wagner said.

“We’ve seen the children and have had ample interaction with them, so the association decided it was a worthy place to give a financial contribution.”

Although the Okinawa government provides operating funds to the home, the Marine Corps donation will let staff members provide activities such as camping and sightseeing, normally outside the home’s budget, said director Kunio Takara.

“We are very grateful to receive support from the Marine Corps,” said Norio Ota, board chairman. Besides the money the home receives, Ota said, his staff appreciates all “beautification projects” Marines perform around the home and for their participation in annual holiday events.


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