Toys for Tots

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Toys for Tots
Toysfortotslogo.png
Founded1947; 74 years ago (1947)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
FounderBill Hendricks
Diane Hendricks
TypeCharitable organization
Location
Area served
United States
OwnerMarine Toys for Tots Foundation
Key people
United States Marine Corps Reserve
Revenue
$276,639,200 (2018)[1]
Websitetoysfortots.org
An early promotional photo from the Toys for Tots program
InPhonic's CEO and CFO present the results of the company's drive in December 2006
FEMA donations following Hurricane Katrina
Marines with the Blue Angels and National Santa, Tim Connaghan, bring toys for Hurricane Sandy victims on December 3 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The Marines brought more than $700,000 in toy and book donations on their C-130 "Fat Albert" from donation points in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The toys were put onto trucks for distribution to families and children in the affected New York/New Jersey area.

Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. The program was founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks.[2]

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity located in Triangle, Virginia, serves to fund, raise funds for, and support the program.

History[edit]

Toys for Tots began as a Los Angeles charitable effort in 1947. Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, was inspired by his wife Diane when she tried to donate a homemade Raggedy Ann doll to a needy child but could not find any organization to do so. At her suggestion, he gathered a group of local Marine reservists, including Lieutenant Colonel John Hampton,[3] who coordinated and collected some 5,000 toys for local children that year from collection bins placed outside Warner Bros. movie theaters. Jon B. Riffel also helped found the organization. [3] Their efforts were so successful that, in 1948, Toys for Tots was launched as a national campaign. Hendricks used his position as director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio to enlist celebrity support, as well as have Walt Disney Studios design the red toy train logo.[2] A theme song for the program was written in 1956 by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, and would be recorded by Nat King Cole, Jo Stafford, Peggy Lee, among others.[4]

Until 1979, Marine reservists (frequently in their dress blue uniforms) and volunteers would collect and refurbish used toys. In 1980, only new toys were accepted, as reservists were no longer able to dedicate drill hours to refurbishing toys, as well as legal concerns, to prevent the accidental giving of recalled items, and the mixed message of giving hand-me-downs as a message of hope.[2]

In 1991, the Secretary of Defense authorized the creation and affiliation with the non-profit charity foundation. In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.[5]

Noting in 1996 that many communities did not have a Marine reservist presence, the commander of the Marine Forces Reserve authorized Marine Corps League detachments and other local organizations to fill the gaps in toy collection and distribution.[5]

In 2009, the program received support from First Lady Michelle Obama, who placed the first collection box at the White House.[6] In December 2011, she took part in a Toys for Tots activity at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.[7][8]

As of 2016, the Toys for Tots Program and Foundation have collected and distributed more than 512 million toys.[9]

Mission[edit]

The mission of the program "is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted."

The stated goal is to "deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, and patriotic citizens."


Walt Disney's office in Burbank, California: Standing with Walt Disney is his corporate pilot Marine Lt. Colonel Kelvin Bailey (Retired), and Kelvin’s wife Gwen. The photo presents them supporting the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program. Colonel Bailey was a heroic fighter pilot in WWII. After retiring, Kelvin received a call from a Walt Disney Productions Executive who asked if he would be interested in flying a newly manufactured Disney jet called “Mickey Mouse One.” He accepted the offer and became Walt Disney’s personal pilot, flying the Walt Disney Productions Gulfstream for over ten years. He often flew Walt to Kissimmee, Florida during the planning and building of Walt Disney World. Colonel Kelvin Bailey[10] was a mutual friend of Colonel Sidney Mashbir and Colonel Robert F. Warren.[11] It was through these officers that this photo image was gifted to the author of this Wikipedia contribution, so that the photo could be shared online. For more information about Colonel Bailey, Colonel Mashbir, and Colonel Warren whose combined outstanding military service included WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam War, here is a Blog link.[12] This blog includes historical information about Walt Disney Co. being one of the founding supporters of the Toys for Tots gift program:


Notable achievements[edit]

  • 2003 Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year (DMA NPF)[9]
  • Reader's Digest Best Children's Charity of 2003[9]
  • One of the top 10 charities of 2003 on the Forbes "Gold Star" list[9]
  • Charity Navigator four star ratings in both 2005 and 2006

It is noted in their website, that toys in good shape are okay to be donated as well.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

  1. ^ "Marine Toys for Tots Foundation". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Origin and Evolution of Toys for Tots". United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  3. ^ a b Richards, Samp (8 July 2010). "John Hampton, co-founder of Toys for Tots, dies at 103". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  4. ^ http://www.voicesfortroops.org/Learn_More/Personal_Stories/7_Little-Known_Facts_About_Toys_for_Tots.html
  5. ^ a b "Chronological History of The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  6. ^ Hadley, Cecilia (14 December 2009). "Giving Starts at the Top: White House announces staff toy drive for Toys for Tots". Marine Corps Times. pp. B3.
  7. ^ "Toys for Tots". Mrs.O. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  8. ^ "First Lady Michelle Obama and Toys for Tots Spread Holiday Cheer". WhiteHouse.gov. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d "Origin and Evolution of Toys for Tots". Marine Toys For Tots Foundation. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  10. ^ https://www.airzoo.org/michigan-aviation-hall-of-fame
  11. ^ http://covertpublicschools.ss14.sharpschool.com/parents__community/hall_of_fame/colonel_robert_f_warren
  12. ^ "Colonel Sidney Mashbir's widow Alice gifts a portrait of General MacArthur to Sidney's good friends Marine Lt. William Warren and Marine Lt. Colonel Robert Warren. Presented here are inspiring tales of heroism". TheEmperorAndTheSpy.com.

External links[edit]