Toys for Tots began in 1947 with one U.S. Marine Unit delivering 5,000 toys to less fortunate children in Los Angeles. Today, the organization has representation in over 800 communities and all 50 states, delivering joy to our nation’s neediest children. With the significant support of individual donors and our Corporate Sponsors, the Marines have fulfilled the Christmas dreams of an average of 7 million children each year.
Learn How Your Listeners Can Get Involved in the
2018 Toys for Tots Campaigns in Their Local Areas
Lieutenant General Pete Osman, USMC (Ret)
President and Chief Executive Officer for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
There are currently more than 15 million U.S. children living below the federal poverty line. Moreover, 1 out of every 3 children lives in a family where neither parent has full-time, year-round employment. Given that many of these parents struggle to provide the basic essentials of food and shelter for their little ones, millions of children risk disappointment on Christmas morning, with no toys under the tree. With demand for assistance remaining high, we are reaching out to your listeners to purchase toys to donate to Toys for Tots – which will go directly to children in need in your community.
Fortunately, parents can turn to the Marine Toys for Tots Program during this time of the year. Our Corporate Partners, and most importantly, the American public, have been very supportive during these tough economic times as the demand for toys remains high.
Since 1947, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve units and local volunteers have conducted Toys for Tots campaigns in communities nationwide to bring the joy of the holidays and a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children. Last year, Toys for Tots conducted programs in 800 communities – covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands – delivering 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children.
These gifts offer children hope, recognition and a positive memory to cherish for a lifetime. Many of the books, games and sports equipment that we provide make a significant contribution to these children’s educational, social and physical development.
President and Chief Executive Officer for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Pete Osman, will discuss how listeners can deliver joy to a child in need in their community this holiday season.
• Toys“R”Us store closures mean 550,000 fewer toys for children this year. For the past 14 years, Toys“R”Us has helped raise millions of dollars for the purchase of toys, books, and other gifts, greatly assisting Toys for Tots’ efforts to bring holiday joy and hope to children in need. Beyond that, this iconic toy store also served as a well-known collection site for tens of thousands of donated toys from shoppers. We’ve worked tirelessly to gain new Corporate Sponsors to fill the void caused by Toys“R”Us’ closure. And while we’ve had some success, overcoming an $8 million shortfall is difficult.
• The increased requests for toys. Although many of us now see the recession as a thing of the past, those in the lower economic groups have yet to see full recovery. We have also had a tremendous increase in support requests for areas impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.
• How and where to help. It’s getting late to shop for a toy and find a toy drop off location, but it’s not too late to make a credit card donation on our website. We can immediately turn that donation into toys that can be delivered to those most in need.
• Corporate Support. We have over 94 National Corporate Sponsors who are supporting our program and thousands of local corporate sponsors. Please support their efforts.
• Hasbro, a 22 year partner of Toys for Tots, has committed to a million toy challenge: for every toy donated to the campaign, Hasbro will donate one of its own;
• Disney, our longest running partner, is conducting toy drives in all 200 of their retail stores and will match $5 for every toy donated up to $1 million;
• The UPS Store has sponsored the Toys for Tots Literacy Program since 2008, and is raising dollars to purchase quality books for children. Since 2008, they have helped Toys for Tots distribute 39 million books to children;
• Build-A-Bear Workshop is donating 20,000 of their furry friends to children in need, as well as raising dollars for Toys for Tots in their stores throughout November and December.
• Amazon is featuring Toys for Tots as their Holiday Charity on their Amazon Charity List – allowing the public to buy a toy through Amazon to be donated to Toys for Tots.
• Delta Airlines has contributed over $700K to this year’s campaign.
About the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation: The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 71st year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during the Christmas holiday season. Our job is to help moms and dads — who are struggling to make ends meet – ensure that their children experience the joy of Christmas.
For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org