Since 1995 the US Marine Squadron HMM 764 has teamed up with the Flagstaff Toys for Tots and St. Mary's Food Bank to bring Christmas to the Havasupai Tribe in Arizona.
Traditionally known as Operation Supai, each year the troops load up two Marine helicopters with 150 bags of toys, 100 boxes of food, and Christmas trees for the isolated community. “It’s a remote village,” says Rick Wiselus, a Toys for Tots volunteer, “It’s an 8 mile hike by backpack or horse.”
Despite being based out of Edwards Air Force Base in California, the Marines fly out of Grand Canyon Airport for this special mission each year. Even Santa Claus takes time out of his busy schedule to bring a little Christmas cheer to the Havasupai.