The Marine Toys for Tots Program is a well-loved organization that seeks to spread the joy of Christmas to economically disadvantaged children across America. They try to unite the communities that they serve as well as work towards improving them. The Toys for Tots mission, as outlined on their website, is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute them to less fortunate children at Christmas.
In 1947, Major Bill Hendricks of the Marine Corps Reserve organized the first Marine Toys for Tots campaign. His wife made homemade dolls that she wanted him to deliver to an organization that would give them to less-fortunate children. Major Hendricks was unable to find any such organization, and as a result, his wife challenged him to create one. He took her up on her challenge, and along with his unit in Los Angeles, California was able to collect upwards of 5,000 toys and distribute them to children in LA.
After that successful first year – the Commandant told all reserve sites across the country to implement similar drives in their local communities in 1948.
Major Hendricks worked for Warner Brothers Studios and was able to garner the support of many celebrities. Walt Disney was even behind the design of the iconic three-car train logo.
The Marine Toys for Tots Program was officially registered as a national non-profit in 1991 and continues to distribute donated toys, purchase toys with funds raised, provide promotional support for local campaigns, solicit corporate sponsors and handle the day-to-day operations of the foundation. On average, almost 18 million toys are collected and distributed to about 7 million children annually.
The services offered by the Toys for Tots organization are the collection and distribution of toys as well as educating the public on how they help communities. Local community drives generally run from October to December and encourage their community members to drop off new toys to local collection sites, often sponsored by local businesses. Toys for Tots coordinators are responsible for picking the toys up and delivering them to warehouses for sorting. The toys are then distributed to children with the help of social welfare agencies, churches, and other community agencies.
Precision Financial Services is proud to have been a Toys for Tots collection site for many years, encouraging our local community to give to this effort of bringing Christmas joy to children all over the country. If you would like to donate a new, unwrapped toy – Precision Financial Services will be collecting them in our New Jersey office until December 10th.
To learn more about The Marine Toys for Tots program, visit their website at https://www.toysfortots.org/.
(Left to Right) Susan Walker and LaurieAnn Lecomte of Precision Financial Services