The littlest gifts can pay off big

Tavern raises $2,300 for Toys for Tots

By KATE REARDON

Herald Writer

EVERETT — Ronald "Hub" Morgan scooted around his crowded tavern Sunday afternoon to the beat of pennies clanging one by one through a metal change-counting machine.

Two uniformed U.S. Marines stood watch. Regulars at the Crow’s Nest Tavern at 12th Street and Broadway sipped suds and toasted to each dustpan full of pennies loaded into the counting machine.

Clang, clang, clang. More pennies. More counting.

It took more than five hours to count the $887 worth of pennies that customers over the past year tossed into a red barrel marked "U.S. Marines Toys for Tots."

Pennies weren’t the only things Morgan got in his red barrel after challenging customers to fill to the rim.

"We got a lot of pocket lint," Morgan said, adding that customers were willing to empty their pockets for the cause.

Through the penny drive and other efforts, Morgan and his customers raised $2,300 this year so the nonprofit group can buy toys for kids in the area.

Master Sgt. Rick Bradley, area coordinator for Toys for Tots, said he’s seen people give a lot of toys and a lot of money over the years.

"This is the first one I’ve seen with pennies," he said. Luckily, Bradley wasn’t taking the pennies. The Crow’s Nest donation came in check form.

Morgan will be the one lugging pennies to the bank.

Over the years, Morgan has raised more than $30,000 for Toys for Tots. One year, he was even recognized for his efforts with a plaque that now hangs on the walls of his establishment.

Bradley said Toys for Tots items are distributed through local organizations such as Christmas House and the Boys and Girls clubs.

Major Bill Hendricks founded the toy program in 1947 in Los Angeles. That year, 5,000 toys were collected.

The idea really came from his wife, Diane, however. Diane Hendricks had crafted a Raggedy Ann doll and asked her husband to deliver it to an organization that would give it to a needy child.

When Hendricks learned no agency existed, his wife urged him to start one.

Over time, the program evolved and in 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official program of the U.S. Marine Corps and as an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.

In 1999, Marines and volunteers distributed more than 13.8 million toys to about 5.9 million children.

Last year, the program locally distributed toys to children from 8,000 families in Snohomish, Island, Skagit and Whatcom counties, Bradley said.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

President Joe Biden speaks at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in Greensboro, N.C., on April 14, 2022. Biden plans to nominate Michael Barr  to be the Federal Reserve's vice chairman of supervision. The selection of Barr comes after Biden's first choice for the Fed post, Sarah Bloom Raskin, withdrew her nomination a month ago (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Washington Democrats voice support for Biden’s decision to drop out of presidential race

Some quickly endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris to replace him on the ballot.

Everett
Teenager in stable condition after Everett drive-by shooting Saturday

Major Crime Unit detectives were looking for two suspects believed to have shot the teenager in the 600 block of 124th Street SW.

Miners Complex tops 500 acres in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Nine lightning-caused fires force trail closures and warnings 21 miles east of Darrington. No homes are threatened.

FILE — President Joe Biden arrives for a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, July 3, 2024. Biden abandoned his campaign for a second term under intense pressure from fellow Democrats on Sunday, July 21, upending the race for the White House in a dramatic last-minute bid to find a new candidate who can stop former President Donald Trump from returning to the White House. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Biden drops out of race, endorses vice president Kamala Harris

The president announced the decision on social media Sunday.

A Mukilteo firefighter waves out of a fire truck. (Photo provided by Mukilteo Fire Department)
Mukilteo levy lid lift will hike average tax bill about $180 more a year

The lift will fund six more workers, ambulances, equipment and medical supplies. Opponents call it unnecessary.

Doug Ewing looks out over a small section of the Snohomish River that he has been keeping clean for the last ten years on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the Oscar Hoover Water Access Site in Snohomish, Washington. Ewing scours the shorelines and dives into the depths of the river in search of trash left by visitors, and has removed 59 truckloads of litter from the quarter-mile stretch over the past decade. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
If Snohomish River campaign passes, polluters could be held accountable

This summer, a committee spearheaded efforts to grant legal rights to the river. Leaders gathered 1,300 signatures.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.