Posts tagged with "Toys for Tots Literacy Program"

Marine Toys for Tots 75th Anniversary via 360 MAGAZINE

Marine Toys for Tots 75th Anniversary

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program

Celebrates 75 Years of Providing Hope to Children in Need!

Marine Toys for Tots, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s premiere Community Action Program, announces its 75th Anniversary of supporting children in need across the Nation and the kick-off of the Program’s 2022 holiday campaign.

U.S. Marines and volunteers will be conducting over 830 local toy collection and distribution campaigns in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands.  This year, Toys for Tots will highlight our extraordinary Reserve Marines, past and present, as well as showcase the incredible effort from communities across the Nation that has enabled Toys for Tots to support over 281 million less fortunate children.

Who: U.S. Marines and 55,000 volunteers, millions of local supporters, hundreds of corporate partners of Toys for Tots.

What: Marines and volunteers engaging with local businesses, media and individuals within their communities collecting new, unwrapped toys and distributing those gifts to less fortunate children allowing them to experience the joy of Christmas or any celebrated holiday.

When:   November 1, 2022 – December 25, 2022

Where: Toys for Tots is conducting more than 830 local campaigns in communities throughout the U.S. Find a local TFT campaign near you by visiting our website at www.toysfortots.org.

Why: Across the Nation, 1 in 6 million children are living in poverty. The mission of Marine Toys for Tots is to bring the joy of Christmas to less fortunate children with the goal of delivering a message of hope that will inspire youngsters to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. Now, in Toys for Tots’ 75th year, we are asking our supporters to make this important milestone another record-breaking year. It is our goal to deliver the magic of the holidays to every family seeking holiday help from Toys for Tots.

The idea of the Marine Toys for Tots Program began in 1947 at the helm of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks. Major Hendricks’ wife, Diane, was the inspiration behind the Program after she asked Major Hendricks to deliver some handcrafted dolls to an agency that supported children in need. When Major Hendricks reported back to his wife that he could not find an agency for the handcrafted dolls, Diane encouraged her husband to “start one”! 

The Marine Toys for Tots Program began as just one campaign in 1947 with Major Hendricks and the Marines in his Reserve unit collecting over 5,000 toys and delivering them to children in need in the Los Angeles area. The following year, under the direction of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Clifton B. Cates, every Marine Corps Reserve unit implemented a Toys for Tots campaign—which transformed Toys for Tots into a National Community Action Program.

In recent years, Marine Toys for Tots has distributed millions of educational toys, books, games, and sporting equipment to children in need during the spring and summer months. These children and their families were facing adversity and exceptional circumstances including pandemic related challenges, natural disaster recovery, and other extenuating events. “Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity—that is why we wanted to DoGoodNOW and continue to expand our partnerships with other non-profit partners,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “With the assistance of various non-profit organizations throughout the country, Toys for Tots has the ability to extend our reach and provide support to families who are facing tremendous year-round challenges.” 

The Toys for Tots Literacy Program has also expanded since its inception in 2008 by providing books to non-profits to distribute books to Title I funded schools across the Nation. Over 47 million books have been distributed, and with each and every book provided, the Toys for Tots Literacy Program hopes to break the cycle of poverty. Another Program that has allowed Toys for Tots to reach even more children in need is the Toys for Tots Native American Program. Each year, 180,000+ Native American children living on remote Reservations across the United States receive toys and books leaving a positive impact and assisting in the development of these children.

As our Nation has faced the many challenges and national crises over the past 75 year, the American public has never let Toys for Tots down. Our Marines and volunteers have been able to support millions of children in need year after year. Marine Toys for Tots had a record-breaking year in 2021 and distributed an unprecedented 22.4 million toys to 8.7 million underprivileged children. 

Since Marine Toys for Tots Program’s inception in 1947 with a single hand-crafted doll, we have distributed 627 million toys to over 281 million children in need over seven decades. We’ve adapted and overcome many challenges, but always accomplished the mission.

Today’s children are tomorrow’s future, and Marine Toys for Tots is dedicated to ensuring it’s as bright as possible for children living in challenging circumstances. Because of the support we have received over the last seven decades from the American public, our wonderful Corporate Sponsors, and our dedicated local Coordinators and volunteers – we are 75 years strong! Now, in our 75th year, the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program also provides support year-round to families experiencing challenges and exceptional circumstances, thus fulfilling the hopes and dreams of millions of children in need Nationwide at Christmastime – and beyond. Help Marine Toys for Tots fulfill the Christmas Holiday dreams of millions of impoverished children who otherwise may be forgotten, after all – every child deserves a little Christmas.

About Marine Toys for Tots

Marine Toys for Tots, a 75-year National charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness, and hope to children in need. The toys, books and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition, confidence, and a positive memory for a lifetime. It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community. Last year, the Marine Toys for Tots Program fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of 8.7 million less fortunate children in over 830 communities Nationwide. Since 1947, over 281 million children have been assisted. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org

Zoo illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine, toys for tots

TOYS FOR TOTS ANNOUNCES 2020 CAMPAIGN RESULTS 

Toys for Tots, the U.S. Marine Corps’ premiere community outreach program, delivered a record setting 20.2 million toys to 7.4 million less fortunate children in 2020.

2020 was a year unlike any other, causing economic devastation for so many. COVID-19 took hold early in the year, leaving many millions of families in dire need. While Toys for Tots is primarily known as a Christmastime charity, we did not want to wait until the holiday season to provide support. Marines are known for being the first to fight and for running toward the sound of battle. During the spring and summer of the COVID-19 crisis, Toys for Tots partnered with Good360 to provide immediate relief and assistance by distributing 2 million toys, games, and books to COVID-impacted families. These gifts provided many benefits during this extraordinary time of need. They helped to fight boredom, relieved anxiety in children, and facilitated a return to normalcy. The gifts even contributed to the educational development of our Nation’s children, especially while they’ve been out of school.

As the pandemic continued to spread–causing states and municipalities to impose significant restrictions–the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in conjunction with Marine Forces Reserve, are looking ahead to the holiday season to making preparations for how best to collect and distribute toys to children in need.

COVID restrictions have greatly impacted our local campaign operations and significantly limited the number of volunteers permitted to help collect, sort, and distribute toys. In response, the Marines and local campaign coordinators of the Marine Toys for Tots Program rose to the occasion, and established over 800 local toy collection and distribution campaigns in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. As anticipated, the demand from families with children seeking support was much greater than the supply. But the Marines, in their typical fashion, found ways to improvise and adapt. They were very innovative about how they collected and distributed toys. They established curbside and drive-through collection and distribution methods, and enlisted support from other local social service agencies in order to accomplish the mission.

Seeing a deficit of over a million toys develop in November, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation sent out many communications soliciting for help. The American public heard our appeal and recognized the need for aid. Hundreds of thousands of individuals, as well as a record number of organizations serving as National Corporate Sponsors, answered our call. Significant donations allowed for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to augment local toy drives with over 8 million toys, valued at over $77 million.

Toys for Tots does not set a goal of children supported in a given year–rather, our goal is to support every family with children seeking our assistance. The American public has never let Toys for Tots down. With the help from so many, Toys for Tots was able to accomplish our mission distributing a record number of over 20 million toys to 7.4 million children, who otherwise would have gone without. “Unprecedented” seems to be the buzz word for most 2020 events, and there’s no better way to describe the generosity of the American public and our Corporate Sponsors – it was truly unprecedented. 

2020 Accomplishments

  • Distributed 20 million toys to 7.4 million less fortunate children from 808 local campaigns in all 50 states
  • Distributed over 2 million toys, books, and games to COVID-impacted families outside of the holiday season
  • Distributed 1.8 million books to children through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program
  • Distributed toys to 180,000 children through the Toys for Tots Native American Program
  • With support from Toys for Tots Sponsors, augmented local toy drives with over 8 million toys valued at over $77 million
  • Met all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance and maintained a 96:4 Program to Support Ratio

About Marine Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots, a 73-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness and hope to less fortunate children.  The toys, books, and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition, confidence, and a positive memory for a lifetime. It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community. Last year, the Marine Toys for Tots Program fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of over 7 million less fortunate children in over 800 communities nationwide.  Since 1947, over 272 million children have been assisted. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a non-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.