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Veteran Spotlight: Lakeshore Toys for Tots member Mark Petersen

Lakeshore Toys for Tots leader honored with Spotlight award for tireless effort donating to schools.
PIF Spotlight June - Mark Petersen
Posted at 9:25 PM, Jun 19, 2023

HOLLAND, Mich. — A well known organization on the lakeshore works tirelessly for kids around Christmas, but there's people behind the scenes who make it a successful operation year-round.

Our Pay it Forward spotlight Person of the Month is Marine veteran GySgt. Mark Petersen.

When they're not delivering 54,000 toys to 13,000 children like they did for Christmas 2022, Lakeshore Toys for Tots is collecting boxes of school supplies for teachers and books for area schools.

Petersen started the group's literacy program in 2008. He's also the Assistant Coordinator of Lakeshore Toys for Tots.

He, along with his wife Michelle, who's also a veteran, have handed out over 5,000 books in that time.

Across March, April, and May, they delivered 2,000 more books to Allegan, Ottawa, and Van Buren County schools.

Despite having given so much of himself to his country, serving in the Marines for 21 years, and now to his community, Petersen still sees it as giving back.

He said, "When I was in the Marine Corps, I would get care packages and stuff. And this way, I give back for all the stuff that people gave to me while I was deployed."

He'll let you know that he's not in it for the attention.

"We do it because we enjoy doing it," he explained. "We're not out there to have the awards or anything like that. We're there to help people out and we enjoy what we're doing."

Know someone who should be our next Pay It Forward Spotlight Person of the Month? Nominate them here.

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