As the relative of a veteran it becomes apparent, particularly in the years following combat, that the men and women who have served our nation continue to pay the price for our way of life.  Once you have served or seen combat, it changes who you are. Which is why Toys for Tots is so impressive to me.  This is put on by Marines and the Marines are simply a different cut than other soldiers.  They are the first ones in.  They are the first to witness the horrors of combat and all of the hell that it encompasses.  And they are always among the first to offer help be it overseas or right here in Butte.

Toys for Tots is a U.S, Marine Corps Reserve-driven program whose mission is to collect new, unwrapped toys through the final 3 months of the year and distribute them to less fortunate children locally.  It is not so much the toy, but the message of hope that they believe will assist them in growing up to be responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.  In Butte, Toys for Tots is being spearheaded by Michael Lawson, a Marine who is also the proprietor of the I Don't Know Cafe on the corner of Park and Main right below Metals Sports Bar and Grill.  Veterans of all branches who wish to make a positive change in the community are invited to join the Marine Corps League and to help with this year's Toys for Tots campaign.  For details, just stop by the I Don't Know Cafe between the hours of 6am and 2pm and Michael will be happy to provide the information you need.

The I Don't Know Cafe. Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media
The I Don't Know Cafe. Lower level of the Metals Bank Building on the corner of Park and Main.  Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media

But what if you're not a veteran but still want to get involved in this very worthy cause?  There are several ways to help which you can read about on their website.  For volunteer opportunities or to make your business a Toys for Tots collection site, click here.

Five Things You Must See When Visiting Butte, Montana

Butte, Montana is a history buff's dream. With a history of being a rough-and-tumble mining camp, Butte is home to one of the largest Historic Districts in the nation and a has some fascinating things to see whether you're visiting for a day or for the season.

Butte locations seen in the 1923 trailer

The Butte locations spotted in the new 1923 trailer

The Dutton Ranch (aka Chief Joseph Ranch)

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Some of the best and most unique football venues in Montana

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