Related posts:Festival of Light, Egyptian dancers, and other happenings around Costa Rica Ten-year-old siblings take the stage to promote education for women Festival de la Luz to take over San José Saturday PHOTOS: Christmas 2015 Read previous “Giving Back” stories here.“Giving Back” is an occasional series that seeks to draw attention to the work of nonprofits, community organizations and other donation-based initiatives around the country. Nominations for the series can be sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook Comments Recommended: In this holiday season, finding ways to make a differenceThe atmosphere was festive at Dr. Gene Beverlin’s house in Belén, where a group of veteran marines were busily wrapping Lego sets, Barbie dolls, and model race cars. Spouses and friends joined in the effort, cutting paper and setting out hors d’oeuvres, and it wasn’t quite noon before the Imperial bottles were deployed.“My house was the most centrally located,” said Dr. Beverlin with a smile. At 87 years, he is allegedly the oldest member of the Marine Corps of Costa Rica.This month’s initiative is called “Juguetes Para Niños,” the Spanish equivalent of Toys for Tots. Often mistaken as a generic term, Toys for Tots was founded by the United States Marine Corps in 1947 and has distributed millions of donated toys to low-income households. Taking their cue from their U.S. predecessors, the 50 members of the Costa Rican chapter have started their first-ever Toys for Tots drive, and they seem happy with the outcome: They have already donated about 150 toys to the Seeds of Love creative enrichment program, and they planned to donate two batches of 50 toys to Central Valley neighborhoods and to a church in Jacó. (For more information or to support their campaign, visit the Marine Corps League Costa Rica Facebook page.)“People don’t know about what we’re doing,” said Bill Enell, commandant of the Marine Corps. “So this first year we tried to get the word out and let people know what’s going on. Hopefully next year we’ll have more toys and it will be more of a banner year.”The Tico Times caught up with Enell and his fellow veterans last Wednesday morning for their wrap session.
It’s safe to say in his first off-season as general manager, Steve Keim has been a very busy man. Coming off a disappointing 5-11 campaign, the Arizona Cardinals needed to address several pressing needs in free agency, and on the surface it seems they’ve done just that.To date, the Cardinals have signed 10 free agents (Antoine Cason, Rashard Mendenhall, Drew Stanton, Jerraud Powers, Jonathon Amaya, Matt Shaughnessy, Frostee Rucker, Jasper Brinkley, Yeremiah Bell and Lorenzo Alexander) and re-signed two of their own (Brian Hoyer and Rashad Johnson). Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Apparently that approach isn’t for everyone. – / 9 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Although Arizona has made a concerted effort to make smart, short-term deals — no player signed a contract longer than three years — not everyone is all that impressed with the work Keim has done thus far.In an ESPN.com column Monday, NFL insider Matt Williamson graded every NFC team’s free-agency pick-ups, and the Cardinals didn’t exactly pass with flying colors. Williamson slapped a ‘C’ grade on Keim and Co., and only five teams in the conference finished lower in the rankings.Through free agency, the Cardinals are better at cornerback and running back and maybe even quarterback (could they be worse?) than a year ago. But their offensive line needs serious work and now they are deficient at safety. Arizona, with a new staff in place, is looking at the big picture, got out of some tough contracts and will build through the draft to get its type of players in place.While Williamson didn’t take a huge liking to Arizona’s low-risk, high-reward moves, he does admit that the team could potentially get decent value out of Cason, Powers, Mendenhall and Stanton.Cason could flourish opposite Patrick Peterson and is sure to see a lot of passes thrown his way, and Powers should be a high-end nickel corner. Bruce Arians is very familiar with Mendenhall and should maximize his impressive abilities, and Stanton has never had a legitimate opportunity to show what he can do as a starting NFL QB. His skill set matches what Arians looks for at the position. The Cardinals might not have hit a home run yet this off-season, but in order to compete in a division like the NFC West, it appears that Keim realizes that he must first hit singles and doubles. Top Stories