For the last few years, the all-volunteer veteran's advocates at Veterans Corner Inc. on State Highway 9 West have gathered toys during the holiday season to be given to the Toys for Tots program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, about 15 million children in the United States -- 21 percent of all children -- live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold.

Alfred Hollis, Veterans Corner chair, last Thursday thanked Mike McElyea, president of the WoodmenLife Chapter 154 of Norman, for the donation of another $350 worth of toys to the project. Their goal is to help local communities and believe Toys for Tots is a wonderful way to help a few children have a brighter Christmas.

The nonprofit began with a simple two-part mission: to protect America's families from financial hardship and to provide opportunities to help others in the community.

Scheduled for Dec. 20, a Social Security representative should be available at Veterans Corner to answer any questions. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) each have disability programs.

It is possible to receive disability benefits from both; however, the criteria for receiving disability benefits through Social Security are different from the criteria for receiving disability benefits from the VA, and separate applications must be filed. You may find that you qualify for disability benefits through one program but not the other, or that you qualify for both.

Dec. 20 also will be the last day of 2018 that Veterans Corner will be open, to allow the fantastic volunteers who give their time year-round a chance to spend special time together with their own family and friends.

Operations will resume Jan. 2.

If you are a Veteran or surviving spouse in need of a Food Pantry Box or in need of a medical equipment loan, please contact Jimmy Flowers at "the Corner" on any Thursday.

If you would like to become one of Veterans Corner's all-volunteer team members, please contact Benny Crowe at 405-641-2555 or email him at bennycrowe@aol.com.

Keep in mind that because Veterans Corner is a 501(c)(3) organization, all gifts & donations are tax-deductible. Donations can be sent to: Veterans Corner; P.O. Box 722160; Norman, 73070-8635, or you may contact Jerry Baxter on any Thursday at 405-387-5070 to make recurrent arrangements.

Veterans Corner is located at 3805 SE 44th St, Newcastle, 73065, about two miles west of Interstate 35, Exit 106, on the north side of State Highway 9 West and is open from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday.