Posts tagged with "Toys for Tots"

Toys for Tots Literacy Program

Toys for Tots® Literacy Program Provides almost 500,000 Books to Title 1 Funded Schools Supported by The UPS Store® network! 

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program supported by The UPS Store network, provided almost 500,000 books directly to schools receiving Title I funding. With the outstanding assistance of the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA), administrators and teachers at Title I schools across the nation requested books for their students. These books were provided free to the schools due to charitable donations from The UPS Store network as well as the generosity of the American public.

There are 976 schools in 15 states currently receiving 492,839 books. These books primarily focus on subjects that provide children with the tools necessary to be successful throughout their lives. Books emphasizing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), as well as titles that provide both entertainment and enrichment, will be welcoming students back-to-school this year!

As background, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, with our long-time ally The UPS Store, Inc., launched the Toys for Tots Literacy Program in 2008, a year-round initiative to support less fortunate children across our nation’s communities. The program offers the nation’s most economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing them direct access to books and educational resources that enhance their ability to read and communicate effectively. This program not only brings the joy of reading to these children, but also serves as an important tool in breaking the cycle of poverty. Since its inception, the generosity of the 5,000 The UPS Store locations and their communities have contributed over $7.5 million and assisted Toys for Tots in distributing over 44 million books.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity which was created at the behest of the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program began in 1947 in Los Angeles, and since it first National Campaign in 1948 has distributed more than 604 million toys, games, and books to 272 million children.

The UPS Store® locations are independently owned and operated by franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc. (although one or more may be company owned) in the USA and by its master licensee and its franchisees in Canada. Products, services, prices and hours of operation may vary by location.

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Toys for Tots x Good360

On April 19, 2021, Toys for Tots announced the expansion of their year-round efforts to provide hope to those less fortunate with plans for ANOTHER special gift distribution to children in need. This summer we will be providing ONE MILLION educational toys, books, and games to the children of COVID-19 impacted families. While we all hope this pandemic will be in our rearview mirrors soon, we also recognize that the emotional and educational impact it’s had on children will be long lasting. Less fortunate children likely suffered the greatest learning loss by not being able to attend in-person classroom instruction, so Toys for Tots will be providing toys and books that teach to help them overcome a growing educational gap and stimulate their young minds.

The support we provided last year, at the height of the pandemic, provided great comfort and emotional relief to struggling families. Toys for Toys is determined to send a year-round message of hope to less fortunate families and continue to DoGoodNow! We are more than a children’s Christmastime charity!

Because we recognize the importance of reminding children that there is still joy to be found in simple gifts every day, we are once again partnering with our friends at Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving.  We are providing them with ONE MILLION toys, books, and games to distribute via their network of nonprofit organizations across the United States.

“Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity—that is why we want to DoGoodNOW and continue to expand our partnership with Good360,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  “With the assistance  of Good360 and their vast network of non-profits 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.”

“Toys and games are highly requested items among Good360’s nonprofit network, and our partnership with Toys for Tots allows us to meet this need and bring joy to children and families that are going through difficult times,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360.  “The feedback we’ve received from the nonprofits receiving toys has been tremendous, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Toys for Tots.”

Toys for Tots and Good360 have complementary strengths, and this partnership generates greater impact. Together we are more than just the sum of our parts—together we can DoGoodNOW.  The two organizations launched their collaboration in April of 2020 and since  then have distributed three million toys, games, and books together outside of the holidays.

For additional information, visit www.ToysForTots.org and/or www.Good360.org

Toys for Tots illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Toys for Tots × Good360

Toys for Tots teams up with Good360 (again!), to Distribute One Million Toys, Games and Books to Families-in-Need

Toys for Tots announces the expansion of their year-round efforts to support those less fortunate by distributing one million toys, books, and games to families in need NOW.  While Toys for Tots is primarily known as a Christmastime charity, the organization recognizes there is still great need to provide emotional support and doesn’t want to wait until the holiday season to deliver hope to children in need.

As a Nation we’ve all been hopeful that the Coronavirus pandemic would be in our rearview mirrors by now, but the sad reality is that COVID-19 has had a long-term impact on just about every sector of our society.  Less fortunate children likely suffered the greatest learning loss by not being able to attend in-person classroom instruction, and in order to help combat that Toys for Tots has decided to distribute one million toys this spring and summer with a focus on toys that teach providing STEM-related toys.

We realize the importance of reminding children that there is still joy to be found in simple gifts every day, no matter how difficult things may be right now. That is why we are once again partnering with Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving, and providing them with one million toys to distribute via their network of nonprofit organizations across the United States to DoGoodNOW.

“Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity—that is why we want to DoGoodNOW and expand our partnership with Good360,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  “Without the assistance of Good360 and their vast network of non-profits throughout the country, Toys for Tots would not be able to distribute the one million toys we’re providing to families who are struggling outside of the holiday season.”

“With so many families struggling during the pandemic, Good360 is proud to continue the great work of our Marine Toys for Tots partnership,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360.  “We’ve seen firsthand how toys, books and games bring joy to children and their loved ones served by our nonprofit partners and expanding our efforts will significantly increase the impact of our program.”

Toys for Tots and Good360 have complementary strengths, and this partnership will generate greater impact. Together we are more than just the sum of our parts—together we can DoGoodNOW.  The two organizations launched their collaboration in April of 2020 and since that time have distributed 1.8 million toys, games, and books.

If you’d like, you can donate to Marine Toys for Tots here

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.

Katie Welch - "Sober"

Katie Welch, The Next Big Thing, Debuts Single “Sober” on September 4th 2020

Katie Welch, the music industry’s best-kept secret and next big thing, is set to release her brand new single titled “Sober” Sept. 4.

Based out of Los Angeles, Welch is more than just a triple threat. Singing, dancing, acting and hosting are just the tip of the iceberg for the activist and philanthropist.

She’s finally ready to burst onto the scene after performing for small groups of celebrities, and she will introduce her new album, “The New Renaissance,” to the world to announce her presence. The album will follow up her debut EP titled “Typical Psycho,” which was released in 2018.

Welch said “Sober,” the album’s most anticipated track, is about addiction, but doesn’t just cover substances.

“It’s also about how we allow other people to consume us; how we use our vices to supplement our longing. Toxic substances fill the hole of toxic relationships. By learning to love ourselves we can fill those holes, and to be ‘sober’ is to be whole,” she said.

Katie started performing at 2 years old and spent her childhood competitively dancing and singing in choirs, in a quartet and solo.

She first came to Los Angeles in 2010 in pursuit of a solo career, but after winning the premier season of “Off The Strip,” a singing competition in Hollywood, she took up hosting the show.

She also holds an annual Christmastime concert with multiple artists performing to benefit Toys for Tots. Additionally, she created C.A.P.E. Nation, a program under Boo2Bullying designed to empower children.

Welch said she finds music to be the best way to empower and connect us all.

“We are spiritual beings having a physical experience and we are all just matter and vibration and frequency, which is why music can affect us so deeply. Music has always been there for me in any experience I’ve ever had. I have written music for heartbreak, for healing, for hope and for pure fun and entertainment. It all serves its purpose,” Welch said. “My dream is to share the music in my heart with the world in hopes others can connect to it, to know they are not alone and realize how connected we all are.”

Combining all of her passions, like singing, dancing, performing and helping others, is what earned her the classic designation of a “Renaissance woman.”

That title inspired the name of her new album, and her music follows right along with her diverse interests.

Her vocals powerful vocals are inspired by artist like Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse and Celine Dion while also taking notes from The Jacksons, Prince, Cher, Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera for her music as a whole.

“It never felt right for me to lock myself into one specific genre or to label myself in a finite way,” she said. “Genre crossover and blending has been happening in music for many years, and I’m excited to see where it moves to next.  I believe the whole world is on the verge of a great new era of art, culture, philosophy and enlightenment, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

You can pre-save “Sober” on Spotify right now by clicking right here, and you can find it streaming everywhere Sept. 4.

You can also find out more about Katie on her website by clicking right here, and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.