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The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program
collects new, unwrapped toys during the 3 months before Christmas, distributing
them to less fortunate children in communities throughout our nation.
This high-profile charity began 65 years ago when Major
Bill Hendricks and a group of U.S. Marine Reservists collected and distributed
5,000 toys to needy children in Los Angeles. The initial idea came from Hendricks’
wife, who in the fall of 1947 crafted a homemade doll and asked her husband to deliver
it to an organization that would give it to a needy child at Christmas. Hearing
that no such agency existed, Mrs. Hendricks challenged him to create one.
In 1947 the Toys for Tots pilot project was so successful
that the U.S. Marines adopted the charity and expanded it into a nationwide
campaign. Luckily, Major Hendricks also worked as the Director of Public
Relations for the Warner Brothers Studio. This gave him access to a number of
celebrities whom he convinced to support the cause. In 1948, Walt Disney himself
designed the Toys for Tots logo, which is still in use today.
First Lady Michele Obama has been the number one Toys for
Tots supporter and volunteer since 2009, conducting toy drives in the White
House and assisting with the sorting of toys at local campaign sites in the
Washington, DC area.
The College of Public
Service applauds Toys for Tots for its service and distribution of more
than 452 million toys to more than 209 million needy children since its
beginning. This achievement has made the U.S. Marines the unchallenged leader
in looking after less fortunate children at Christmas. The foundation has
supplemented local toy collections with more than 98 million toys, valued at
more than $694 million.
To learn more about Toys for Tots, including how to
volunteer or make a donation, visit ToysforTots.org. You
can also view some videos from Toys for Tots’YouTube page below about the work that has been done to help
deliver hope and happiness to children in need.
The History of
Toys for Tots—Video about the history of Toys for Tots and how the gift
of a new toy during Christmas sends a message of hope to less fortunate
Marine Toys for
Tots–Are You Santa?—A young boy asks a marine standing guard if he is Santa.
Video is a call to help Toys for Tots and U.S. Marines help deliver hope and
happiness to children.
Toys for Tots–Marine
Corps Reserve—Through the Toys for Tots Program, the Marine Corps
Reserve delivers the magic of Christmas to millions of deserving children each
year. Video highlights how U.S. Marines have always been known to save the day,
including Christmas Day with Toys for Tots.
Toys for Tots–Christmas
Morning—Public service announcement about how Toys for Tots and the U.S.
Marines have delivered Christmas to children in need thanks to donors’
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