Parkview High School JROTC collects more than $50,000 for Toys for Tots

The Parkview High School JROTC collected more than $52,000 for Toys for Tots. 

The members of the JROTC and their parents collected money and toys outside of Walmarts every weekend since the weekend before Thanksgiving. 

On Friday, the teens had the chance to put that money to good use. 

They spent the afternoon shopping for gifts with the money they raised. 

"It's just fun for me to just pick it out for them. Like oh, they might like this or this," said Wendy Jazo, a senior. 

This is Jazo's fourth year raising money and shopping for toys with the program. She said she's grown to appreciate the work they do even more. 

"It was just hard work [at first] staying outside in the cold and now I'm just like it's for four hours. I think it's awesome that I can help people. It just feels good," Jazo said. 

Gunnery sergeant Dave Erwin is the Marine instructor for the school's JROTC. He said the program has grown tremendously over the last 20 years. He said the JROTC has raised about $1 million for Toys for Tots during that time. 

He said his message to the students is the same every single year. 

"I kind of get emotional talking about it, but stop and think about that kid who doesn't have anything. You made a difference. You did something to make a difference in somebody's life," Erwin said.