Toys For Tots: A Christmas Miracle We Can All Take Part In

Toys For Tots: A Christmas Miracle We Can All Take Part In

By Heather Jabusch
Tis the season to give back.  Not only do we spend the holiday times getting presents for our loved ones, but we tend to find ways to give back to our communities and help out those that are less fortunate.  Whether you want to donate your time, money/gifts or place there is one organization that I am particularly proud to have partnered with this year.  Our time is precious so it is important to learn about these organizations and be able to choose the best one(s) to make the most impact.

 

Toys For Tots

Did you know that the United States Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots after its first year of conception back in 1948?  Toys for Tots was founded by Major Bill Hendricks in 1947 in Los Angeles, California with 5,000 toys for their 1st year.  The Marine Corps Reserve expanded this program nationwide by using the reserve centers to promote toy collection and distribution campaigns.

 

Although Toys for Tots is designed to help the local communities in the United States, they became international in 1959 following the catastrophic typhoon that devastated the city of Najoya, Japan.  This flexibility and awareness of global needs just ranks them higher in my book of organizations to support.

 
With the help of Walt Disney’s designs and major celebrities endorsing the program by 1970 they have increased collections to 6 million toys.  This still includes the refurbished toys that the Reservists would work on for 3 months prior to Christmas.  This is amazing to me that they not only promote, collect, and distribute the toys but they used their drill weekends to put in their own personal sweat to provide toys to the organization.

 
By 1980 they were distributing only new toys! The first ladies, Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush became spokespersons for this organization along with many other public figures and celebrities.  Television show Wheel of Fortune and Pizza Hut ran promotions for the program and raised a record $3,000.000 in 1990 that was put in the “Guinness Book of World Records”.  Even more amazing is that when our country was in a recession, the marines and community worked harder to make up for the corporate donations that were not given.  And when the marines were away at war, the companies and communities overcompensated to keep the Toys for Tots organization a blissful success.

 
This continues to be true as the numbers for 2011 were at a record high of $252 million dollars, which distributed 16 million toys to more than 7 million children.  After speaking with our local representative I learned that each household goes through an extensive qualification process to be able to receive toys from this program.  This gives me much comfort in contributing my hard earned money as well as time to the Marines Toys for Tots organization.

 

To make a donation, request a toy for a child in need or find out about drop off locations in your area, visit Toys For Tots for more information.

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