For over 70 years, Toys For Tots has distributed toys to in-need children whose parents are unable to provide holiday gifts. The charity is run by the United States Marine Corps Reserves and was established in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks and his wife Diane.
In the first year, Hendricks and his fellow Marines distributed 5,000 toys to local children on behalf of Toys For Tots. After its raging success in the community, all Marine Reserve Sites were directed to implement a Toys For Tots campaign on their base, effectively transforming the organization into a nation-wide program.
As a personal friend of Hendricks, Walt Disney himself designed the first-ever Toys For Tots poster (see below)! The poster included the iconic three-car train, which has been reimagined into Toys For Tot’s famous logo.
Today, the Marine’s Toys For Tots Program distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children annually. But it wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of tens of thousands of individuals along with small and large businesses.
During the months of October, November and December, small and large businesses alike place collection bins in their organization and encourage employees and patrons to donate toys to children of all ages. In December especially, thousands of individuals open their homes to holiday parties that benefit the Toys For Tots collection process.
Toys For Tots has campaigns in most major cities in all 50 states, including Tampa Bay! If you haven’t already, please celebrate the Season of Giving by donating to Toys For Tots.
For more ways to benefit Toys For Tots, visit their website!