A little history lesson on Toys for Tots

A shot of one of the Toys for Tots posters hanging around at the office.

As you have read before, I run the food drive and toy drive at work.

When my company was still in Emeryville (where Pixar is located) I worked with an Emeryville organization called ECAP for the toy drive and food drive.

Because employees live all over the Bay Area we felt it was best to support the community we worked in.

Now that we are in South San Francisco we support organizations in San Mateo County. For the food drive I work with Second Harvest and for the toy drive I work with Toys for Tots.

Since the toy drive recently launched someone inquired how the Marines got involved in Toys for Tots. So, of course, that inspired a post.

I did a little research and found some information on Wikipedia.

You can read the whole history in the link I provided above.

But here’s the quick and dirty: In 1947 a Marine’s wife wanted to donate a homemade doll to a needy kid. But she couldn’t find an organization in which to do so. The Marine gathered a group of reservists to collect toys in Los Angeles. The next year it became a national campaign.

Originally the organization would refurbish used toys. In 1980 only new toys were accepted.

In 1991 the program became a non-profit charity foundation. In 1995, Toys for Tots was made an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.

In 2009, the program received support from Michelle Obama, who placed the first collection box at the White House.

As of 2009, the Toys for Tots Program and Foundation have collected and distributed almost 500 million toys. That is amazing!

The stated goal is to “deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”

I love that besides just being charitable that the idea is for the kids to become responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. But I wouldn’t consider myself less fortunate. But I feel like having a humble upbringing gave me an advantage to become a “responsible, productive, patriotic citizen.”

Next Tuesday, the Comment Contest Tuesday will be focused on the December Heart Challenge, which is: Grab an Angel from a tree; run a toy drive; buy a toy (or toys) for a toy drive; deliver toys to needy children. Or find some other worthy cause you want to support.

So make sure to come back and comment away for the chance to win a prize!

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