TOYS FOR TOTS

Years ago, the US Marine Corps started the program Toys for Tots.  This is a program we are proud to support at VFW Post 322.  

Click the Bear to go to Toys For Tots

MISSION: The basic mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Program is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas.

GOAL: The primary goal of Marine Toys for Tots is, through the gift of a new toy, help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America's less fortunate children.

OVERVIEW: In order to better execute the Program, in 1991 the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was created at the behest of the Marine Corps.

FOUNDATION OVERVIEW: The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity which was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps in 1991.

FOUNDATION GOVERNANCE: The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is governed by a board of directors, all of whom are veteran Marines and successful business leaders from throughout the nation. The Foundation’s professional staff is headquartered in the Cooper Center, which is located just outside the Main Gate of Marine Corps Base, Quantico, about 35 miles south of Washington, DC.

FOUNDATION MISSION: The mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U. S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas. This assistance includes providing day-to-day leadership and oversight of the Program, raising funds to provide toys to supplement the collections of local Toys for Tots Campaigns, to provide promotional and support material and defray the costs of conducting annual Toys for Tots Campaigns. Other Foundation support includes providing administrative, advisory, financial, logistic and promotional support to local Toys for Tots Coordinators; managing funds raised and monies donated based on the use of Toys for Tots name or logo; providing other support the Marine Corps, as a federal agency, cannot provide; and conducting public education and information programs about Toys for Tots that call the general public to action in support of this patriotic community action program.

FOUNDATION OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the Foundation are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to improving communities in the future.

FOUNDATION ACTIVITIES: The Foundation engages in two categories of activities: Program Services and Support Services.

Program Services

Collection and Toy Distribution: This is the process of obtaining and delivering toys to local Toys for Tots Coordinators and providing the support and assistance those Coordinators need to conduct effective toy collection and distribution campaigns in their communities. Toy collection includes a combination of locally donated toys, those purchased by the Foundation, and those donated by corporations.

Support of Local Coordinators: This involves arranging the creation, publication, manufacture and delivery of an array of promotion and support materials to local Coordinators. It includes managing all financial matters for local Coordinators as well as updating and publishing a manual for the conduct of local programs. Concisely stated, this activity encompasses providing a wide range of support to nearly 800 local Toys for Tots Coordinators and their support groups. Today, there are nearly 40,000 Marines, Marine Corps League members, veteran Marines and volunteers involved in annual campaigns.

Education: The Foundation conducts an annual public information and education campaign. This activity is designed to give the general public a clear understanding of the benefits that accrue to individuals, communities and the nation from Toys for Tots. It increases visibility and name recognition, and calls the general public support in Toys for Tots. The campaign includes distributing a series of news releases, distributing TV and radio public service announcements, publishing newsletters arranging media events and appearances, arranging for national corporations to incorporate information about Toys for Tots into their paid advertisements, conducting special events, maintaining a website and distributing educational material about Toys for Tots to the general public.

Support Services

Management and General Activities: This involves accomplishing the spectrum of business management activities necessary to make an organization efficient and effective and to ensure the program and the Foundation operate in compliance with IRS regulations, federal and state laws and charitable standards.

Fundraising: The Foundation pursues a range of fundraising projects each year. Projects include national corporate sponsors, a direct mail campaign, the Combined Federal Campaign, special events such as golf tournaments; and special projects such as "in memory of/in honor of” donations and internet donations.

PERFORMANCE and ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Since 2001 ranked as one of the top rated charities by "Philanthropy 400”
  • Unmodified opinions on Audited Financial Statements (1994-2017)
  • Average Program to Support Service expense ratio: (2000-2017) 97:3
  • Continues to meet all 20 standards established by the Better Business Bureau WiseGiving Alliance
  • Earned Charity Navigators (www.charitynavigator.org) Four Star Rating
 Origin and Evolution of Toys for Tots Program
 
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 that 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 TFT campaign transforming it into a national community action program in 1948.
 
Bill Hendrick’s civilian job was Director of Public Relations at Warner Brothers Studios. He was friends with many celebrities who he asked to help support the newly created Marine Toys for Tots Program. As a personal friend and as a favor to Bill, Walt Disney designed the first Toys for Tots poster which included a miniature three-car train that was subsequently adopted as the Toys for Tots logo.
 
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit charity, was established in 1991 at the behest of the Marine Corps to help run and support the Marine Toys for Tots Program.
 
The Foundation raises funds, purchases toys, provides promotional and support materials, manages all funds raised and donated, solicits corporate support, educates the public, and handles day-to-day operations.

Presently, the Marine Toys for Tots Program distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children annually.