JACKSONVILLE (WNCT) — Local Marines gave back to the community in a big way and United Way of Onslow County’s CHEW program won’t forget it.

Unit Victor 2-8 from Camp Lejeune loaded up the CHEW van with food donations Tuesday morning. However, that’s not all they did. 

“Those children are our future, so you know, they deserve more than what they’re getting right now,” said Joshua Murphy, a Marine from the unit. 

The unit sets up the food drive and does a “ruck-run,” carrying the food on their backs during their training. They do this 2-3 times per year. They reach out to CHEW once they get back from their deployments. 

“It’s amazing the relationship that we have with the military and this community and their love for CHEW,” said Community Impact Director of United Way of Onslow County Shelly Kieweg. “I’ve just never seen this before, and it really makes my heart happy.” 

According to CHEW, Tuesday was a little different. The unit reached out to the community impact director and asked them what their biggest need was. 

9OYS first reported about CHEW needing a new van several months ago. When the unit heard about how badly they needed a van, they stepped up and donated over $1,900 to the cause. 

“$1,970 dollars,” said Kieweg. “Huge impact, way more than I ever anticipated. My heart is so full right now.” 

Murphy donated $500 dollars of his own money.

“I grew up without any siblings, so I always wanted a little brother or a little sister, and I actually do want to have kids one day,” said Murphy. “And I always look at children as being very important to me.” 

He explained that children are his main focus. 

“I will always put them number one when I have a family so,” said Murphy. “And I can’t see anybody else who wouldn’t do the same.” 

Murphy said he appreciates programs like CHEW because there aren’t many like it in Jacksonville. He also said they’re about to head out on their next deployment and when they get back, they’ll set up another food drive. 

“I don’t even have to reach out to them, they reach out to me,” said Kieweg. “They know the need for our program. They want to help these children, they want to keep the partnership with us. And it’s just an amazing feeling.” 

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