First Lady Michelle Obama and Toys for Tots Spread Holiday Cheer

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First Lady Michelle Obama helps sort through toys at the Toys for Tots Distribution Center at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2012. Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

The White House - First Lady Michelle Obama stopped by a Toys for Tots service project at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling -- a naval installation along the Potomac River in Washington DC -- with “boxes and boxes” of gifts that were donated by White House staffers, American CEOs, and even First Daughters Malia and Sasha.
As she thanked the volunteers and donors working to make this holiday season special for those who are less fortunate, Mrs. Obama noted that it was especially meaningful to attend the event on a military base, since Toys for Tots was started by a military family -- a Marine reservist and his wife who decided that they wanted to make the holiday just a little bit better for kids in need.

"Since then, so many Americans -- including so many military families like all of you -- have spent countless hours bringing gifts and holiday cheer and everything else that is wonderful about the holidays to children all across this country."

"And this is just one of many examples of how our military families are always going that extra mile to serve our communities and our countries -- I talk about this endlessly.  You know I'm working on Joining Forces, but the military families are what inspires my work. Because even though all of you are dealing with your own hardships and challenges and struggles, you're moving from base to base every couple of years; even though you've endured deployment after deployment, the miraculous thing about you all and your spirit is somehow you always are the first people to volunteer for something.

It could be as simple as the car pool, or the PTA, or a food pantry, or you're stepping up for a neighbor or friend; family members of your own. But somehow you're always the ones who find the extra hours in the day to give back, above and beyond what life has thrown your way anyway."