The Marine Corps Toys for Tots program has been making a difference in the lives of American families for 71 years by providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas because: Every Child Deserves a Little Christmas.
Toys for Tots began in 1947 as the brain child of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks, Actually it was his wife, Diane, who was the real inspiration. She had crafted a few handcrafted dolls and asked Bill to deliver them to an agency that supports children in need.
When Bill reported back to his wife he could not find such an organization, she instructed him to “start one!”. Maj Hendricks and the Marines in his reserve unit in LA collected and distributed 5,000 toys in 1947.
Seeing such successful community engagement in 1947, the Commandant directed all Marine Reserve Sites to implement a Toys for Tots campaign transforming it into a national community action program in 1948.
The toy collection campaign in DuPage County begins in October and toy distribution takes place mid-to -ate December. Members of the community drop new, unwrapped toys in collection boxes positioned in local businesses and at community events.
Coordinators pick up these toys and store them in central warehouses where the toys are sorted by age and gender. At Christmas, Coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups, and other local community agencies, distribute the toys to the less fortunate children of the community.
While Toys for Tots Coordinators organize, coordinate and manage the campaign, the ultimate success depends on the support of the local community and the generosity of the people who donate toys and the local businesses who provide free warehouse space for storing and sorting toys.
To learn more about how you can help the DuPage Country Marine Toys for Tots campaign for 2018, visit their website.
Paul Casazza Marine Volunteer – Events/Dropsites
Drew Darrey Marine Volunteer – Events/Dropsitesr