Selfless giving is second nature to members of the Nolan family.
Six-year-old Tristan Nolan continued in that tradition for the second year in row by giving away the toys he received at his birthday party, Dec. 8, in Berwyn, Pa., to the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program.
When asked why he was being so generous to other children, Tristan casually replied, “Because I wanted to!”
Tristan’s interest in donating his toys was spurred by seeing a Marine in front of a donation bin in 2011, and thinking it would be “neat” to get personally involved, explained his proud father, Scott Nolan.
Bill Nolan, Tristan’s grandfather and a financial analyst with the Defense Contracts Management Agency located at the Naval Support Activity Philadelphia, raised his children to be generous and is proud to see them raise their children the same way.
“It’s nice that our children think of others and know the true meaning of Christmas. People are our greatest assets and our family is our net worth,” Nolan continued, adding that his granddaughter, Maura, has been doing fundraising for the Alfred I. duPont Institute since she was five years old- she is now eight. In addition, she donates her own hair, when it is long enough, to an organization that constructs wigs for children who are cancer patients.
Bill and his wife, Dori, acknowledged that their family is blessed in many ways and are extremely proud that their children and grandchildren are constantly thinking of other children, wanting them to enjoy a better life too.
“We can all make a difference to improve the quality of life [for others],” Nolan said.
Marine Maj. Joe Skryd, a military deputy for supply chains solutions, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support, was on hand to officially accept the toys and to recognize Tristan and Bill. Skryd presented Toys for Tots Certificates of Appreciation to both and recognized Tristan with a hand written note and Commander’s Coin from Navy Rear Adm. John G. King, the commander of NAVSUP WSS.
“It was a pleasure to meet Tristan and his family,” said Skryd. “I told many people about Tristan’s holiday gesture prior to making the trip to his home. I have an 8-year-old son and I am sure he would have great difficulty watching new toys exit our home. Tristan never hesitated. Tristan is the definition of ‘holiday spirit.’”
Skryd added the Nolan donations to those collected at NSA Philadelphia as part of the base’s annual Toys for Tots drive. In all, more than 500 toys were donated by the civilian and military personnel on base.
The Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program is an official activity of the U.S. Marine Corps and an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver hope in the form of a new, unwrapped toy to as many less fortunate children as possible during the holiday season.
A field activity of the Naval Supply Systems Command, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support is the U.S. Navy's supply chain manager providing worldwide support to the aviation, surface ship, and submarine communities. Formerly known as the Naval Inventory Control Point (NAVICP), NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support provides Navy, Marine Corps, joint and allied forces with products and services that deliver combat capability through logistics. With over 2,000 civilian and military personnel employed at its two Pennsylvania sites, NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support's Philadelphia site supports aircraft while its Mechanicsburg site supports ships and submarines.