Bicycles sat leaning inside an airport hangar in front of a jet. Stuffed animals and Hot Wheels filled every space on a table just in front of the bikes.

About a decade ago, fixed-base operator American Aero began hosting Toys for Tots drives. On Dec. 8, with dozens of toys sitting ready for distribution,  the impact continues.

Over 100 toys and bicycles were donated at Hangar 11 of the Fort Worth Meacham International Airport. American Aero staff received and exchanged donations for airplane-shaped cookies.

Once the collective drive ends in January, Lance Cpl. Isaiah Morgan and Cpl. Devin Gingry will have spent three months organizing, collecting, packaging and distributing toys for nonprofits, which will in turn distribute gifts to the Fort Worth community. The Marines’ Toys for Tots has provided gifts to children during the holiday season since 1947.

Some more expensive gifts like gaming consoles are kept off to the side and distributed to children’s hospitals, Gingry said. 

“It’s cool. Super cool,” Gingry said. “Last year, I was only working a couple of days on a few events, but this year, I’m full time. I’ll probably do it again next year. I enjoy it. It’s a nice break away from our actual jobs.”

American Aero will continue to host the Toys for Tots drive annually, said General Manager Angela Thurmond.

“It’s pretty significant each year,” said Thurmond. “We just try to continue to grow it every year. What we’re doing and what our customers are doing is giving back to our community.”

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSotoCommunity Engagement Journalist

Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...