Faith Martinez of Santa Clara celebrated her 13th birthday on Dec. 8 with a purpose. For the 7th year in a row, she had a community birthday party where all the gifts will be donated to U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots.
Following in the steps of her Marine father, Martinez became a volunteer for Toys for Tots in 2012. That’s the year her parents asked what she wanted for her birthday — which is in the middle of the season of giving — and she said, instead of presents for herself, Martinez wanted to collect toys for other kids at her party.
Since that first party, where she collected over 60 gifts for Toys for Tots, Martinez has asked her parents to incrementally expand the invitation list for her birthday party to ensure that more kids have a holiday gift. The event has grown so large that they now hold the party at Maywood Park.
This year, in the wake of the devastating California fires, Martinez’s efforts will be appreciated more than ever as parents strive to bring a sense of normalcy to their kids this holiday season.
In an extra kind gesture, Hasbro surprised Martinez — they will be donating one toy or game for every donation made at her party to Toys for Tots.
Thanks to Toys for Tots, over 251 million children have been assisted since 1947.