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Think About This Christmas Morning

Woo hoo!

I have great news to brighten your already amazing Christmas season!

It was a very special weekend here at Early To Rise. Every December we bring our business partners, family, and friends together to visit local Wal-Marts where we buy as many toys as possible to give to the United States Marine Corps as part of their Toys for Tots charity.

The Marines take our donations and distribute the toys to local community centers that ultimately give the toys to children who would otherwise wake up on Christmas morning without a single gift under the tree.

Toys for Tots started in 1947 in Los Angeles, and we’ve been involved for four years. It all started when Matt Smith, my business partner at ETR, read an article that the Denver TFT drive was short 30,000 toys.

Let that sink in for a minute. This isn’t a small problem. The Marines don’t just need a few hundred Barbie dolls. Every year they need 96,000 toys just for Denver. Like me, I’m sure you find it hard to imagine waking up on Christmas morning without a toy.

After reading that article, Matt and his children, Max and Bella, went to a local Wal-Mart and bought hundreds of toys. It was a wonderful experience for his kids, and he knew that he had to do it again, but in a bigger way.

The next year ETR made an event out of it, and our group bought over $50,000 of toys. Last year we bought $125,000 of toys. Every year it grows. This year we had friends and family flying in from Bangkok, England, Canada, and all over America.

But the only way we can do this is thanks to you, our loyal readers. Your support means the world to us.

This year you helped us raise a record $151,300 for the Denver Toys for Tots Marines charity toy drive. With this money, over sixty ETR team members, friends, and family visited three Wal-Mart stores and purchased over 7,500 toys for Denver area children. It was an incredible day.

CB speaks 1
Announcing our record day to all our Toys for Tots partners

But why Denver? That is where ETR headquarters is located. But it’s likely that your local metropolitan area also has a Toys for Tots drive by the Marines. Search Google for a contact number where you can get in touch and make a donation. It’s not too late.

And why Wal-Mart? I know some scrooges are asking this. The reason is we get the most toys for the money at Wal-Mart. And it’s all about helping as many kids as we can.

You helped Santa — and ETR — save Christmas for these kids. You made this a magical Christmas morning for a child in Denver that otherwise would go without a toy.

When you wake up and rub your eyes on Christmas morning, likely a little exhausted from late Christmas Eve celebrations or from a young’en that got you up a little too early to open presents, let a smile spread across your face knowing that some child, somewhere in Colorado, is playing with the toy that you helped Santa deliver to them.

The Toys for Tots drive was so successful because it was about Living By Example.

That is our 3rd Core Value at ETR, and it states:

“An ETR member exudes the principles of at all times, especially when representing ETR. We rise early, manage our time and energy, and are dedicated to a life well lived. We are, of course, not “all work and no play”. Time is made for the finer things in life, enjoyed responsibly.”

Matt Smith and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support. Your help means more to us than you can ever imagine.

smith family christmas

You probably can’t appreciate the impact your donation will have on the kids. But if you donate your time to a charity, you know how wonderful it feels to lend a helping hand. You can’t put a price tag on it.

And yes, I know, the purpose of charity is not to gain recognition or to do good deeds for our own happiness, but the truth is that we need to remind others to seek out opportunities to help. We can all give a little more back, and if you can, why wouldn’t you? T’is the season, after all.

Next year the party will be even bigger and better. We’ve already lined up several more partners, and thought of three ways to raise more money to donate. After all, I want to stay on Santa’s “Nice” list. Judging by the photo below, I did okay this year – at least with Mrs. Claus! 😉

cb mrs clause

Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts.

Merry Christmas to you!