The holidays are usually filled with the joys of time spent with loved ones and showing gratitude for the things we have. It’s a time for people to give to those less fortunate and participate in selfless service.

Though their time in the military and civil service may have ended, for the Veterans of Blue Yonder associate resource group (ARG) members, their time serving has not. Their mission this season: leave no child behind from the magic of the holidays. ARG members have created a Toys for Tots drive through the YouGiveGoods platform to tackle this mission. Associates, family members, and friends can donate a special toy online through Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. Blue Yonder Account Manager and Veterans of Blue Yonder member Dan Berreth shares how one Army value – Selfless Service – has continued to be a driving force and inspiration for this year’s effort.

Dan served in the Army for three and a half years and earned his degree at the University of Central Florida before entering the supply chain industry.  As a veteran, Dan was eager to be part of a community that welcomed and advocated for former civil service members. With the holiday season fast approaching and a history of dedication to sacrifice and humility, Dan took the opportunity to be part of another call that was greater than himself.

“Veterans of Blue Yonder decided that we would want our ARG launch to be accompanied by some sort of charity event. Given the upcoming holiday season, Toys for Tots was the obvious choice.”

Late in January 2022, Veterans of Blue Yonder, a brand-new Blue Yonder ARG, declared their intention to start producing new advocacy, instruction, and reference materials for the organization’s members. All Blue Yonder veterans, including those who served in the armed forces, law enforcement, and emergency services, are supported, recruited, retained, mentored, and advocated for. Additionally, this organization offers enlisted and veteran families assistance and educational opportunities.   “For me personally, it aligns with my service. I was a cook in the Army and loved working with people because it’s a job that affects morale. I was in Iraq for eight months, and meals were the highlight of many people’s days. I was sometimes the first person people would see in the morning, and I would always greet them with a smile. In the same respect of being front and center by bringing fellow servicemen and women joy with the comfort of food, I wanted Veterans of Blue Yonder to be front and center by bringing joy to a child this holiday season with the gift of a toy.”

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity, was established in 1991 at the request of the U.S. Marine Corps. The Marine Toys for Tots Program’s primary goal is to gather brand-new, unopened toys and give them to less fortunate kids during the holidays.

What does working with this particular organization mean to you personally?

“I’ve got a five-and-a-half-year-old, and he’s grown up very differently than I did. He has a lot, and he doesn’t realize it yet. That’s on my list of things I need to help him understand. He doesn’t realize that there are kids out there who have close to nothing, so we’re going to help those kids this holiday season. Veterans of Blue Yonder are going to put smiles on the faces of children around the nation allowing them to forget about their current circumstances even if only for a little while. Toys for Tots aligns with our values, and we’re going to help children who otherwise may not have much of a joyful holiday season.

There are opportunities where you get to do some leadership. The thing I inadvertently stumbled into was servant leadership. It’s a value that I didn’t necessarily seek out, and it’s one of the seven Army Values – selfless service. So as an account manager, I’m always in a leadership role. I know I will take care of the people who come into my space and work tirelessly as an advocate for their business success. So, by working with Toys for Tots, I get to exercise those two things, which are at the core of who I am.»

How did Veterans of Blue Yonder decide to help Toys for Tots, and why now?

“The Veterans of Blue Yonder thought about ways to give back. We looked at several organizations that are doing great work around the country. Toys for Tots stood out above all of them. Most people love children, and they love helping kids. Toys for Tots works well because they have distribution centers across the country where you can volunteer. The other thing they have are these little toy shops. I’m planning to participate in person with my son and have invited fellow Blue Yonder associates who live in the Dallas area along for the ride. I want to get as many of us as possible to work at the warehouse or the toy shops at least for one day.”  

How long do you plan to promote your efforts?

«On the YouGiveGoods website, some drives end on Dec. 2, and some go through Dec. 9. That has to do with the ability of the regiments of Marines in those areas to process and distribute the toys. Through the website, individuals can track how many toys the Blue Yonder community has raised. Donors can select one of seven regions within the U.S. for their toy to be shipped directly to the Toys for Tots distribution center in that region. It’s super simple.»

Dan and the rest of the Veterans of Blue Yonder group show us that compassion and selflessness can lead us to do incredible things. Everyone can make an impact through collaboration, hope, and good spirit. 

Visit here to learn more about Blue Yonder’s culture and Core Values.

To donate a toy virtually, visit the Veterans of Blue Yonder Toys for Tots donation page here.