First Lady Michelle Obama for the third straight year once again declares her support of Toys for Tots at a major media event at the
Washington, DC Toys for Tots warehouse facility.
The Foundation continued to focus on the exposure of the Toys for Tots brand to the public via the
NYSE Closing Bell ceremony, Blue Angels support, and the Hollywood Christmas Parade.
Corporate and individual support was superb; once again reinforcing the idea that the American public
will not allow Toys for Tots to fail. The Foundation continued to focus on the exposure of the Toys for Tots
brand to the public via the NYSE Closing Bell ceremony, Blue Angels support, and the Hollywood Christmas Parade.
Additionally, for the 4th consecutive year the First Lady served as Toys for Tots' number one supporter by
conducting a major media event and volunteering her time to sort toys in one of our local warehouses.
Chief Justice John Roberts also dedicated the Supreme Courts annual staff Christmas party to Toys for Tots.
The First Lady threw her personal support behind the program and Chief Justice Roberts again made Toys for Tots
the beneficiary of the Supreme Court's Annual Holiday Gala
Federated Auto Parts, a second year national corporate sponsor, kicked off their support of the
2013 Marine Toys for Tots Program by raising $65,000 at their April national conference.
Additionally, they included Marines and Toys for Tots in the September NASCAR Sprint Cup Race held at the Richmond International Raceway.
Federated, as the official corporate sponsor of the race, Federated requested the Richmond based Battery H, 3rd Battalion,
14th Marines display an M-177 Howitzer and a 7-Ton Truck. Additionally the Marines hosted a Toys for Tots tent to enable
Marines and the Foundation staff the opportunity to discuss the program with thousands of race visitors.
On 22 November 2013, Kelley Hardison, Deputy Vice President of Marketing & Development,
and television star, Ellen DeGeneres, joined Toys for Tots and 5 Star Corporate Sponsor, Duracell,
at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles to help them launch their “Power a Smile” program.
On December 8, 2013 the President & CEO participated in the 15th Annual Toys for Tots Train Lift conducted by the Marine Toys for Tots Campaign in Albany, New York.
This year’s Train Lift delivered over 10,000 toys to less fortunate children along the rail line from Albany to Rouses Point on the Canadian border.
Toys were distributed at six stops along the way.
2014 marked the 11th year of partnership with Toys ''R'' Us, and their national fundraising campaign to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
It was the most successful to date. They raised $6.4 million and collected more than 220,000 toys to help bring joy to children in need across the country.
Toys ''R'' Us also made a $225,000 grant to increase the total amount to nearly $6.7 million. As part of the campaign,
NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal (a.k.a Shaq-A-Claus) and Toys ''R'' Us encouraged customers to participate in the #PlayItForward Challenge by taking and sharing
a photo of themselves donating a toy to Toys for Tots at Toys ''R'' Us stores.
For each selfie shared using the dedicated hashtag, Toys ''R'' Us donated a toy to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
The First Lady continued her personal involvement with Toys for Tots and for the first time brought along a "helper" - the President!
On November 28th, “Black Friday”, the President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, LtGen Pete Osman and Santa Tim Connaghan,
together with Marines from 6th Communications Battalion rang the Closing Bell of the New York Stock Exchange in honor of the
66th Anniversary of the Marine Toys for Tots Program. Ringing the Closing Bell on “Black Friday” serves as a great reminder to the
American Public to purchase a toy for a less fortunate child when buying gifts on the biggest shopping day of the year.
On Monday May 18, 2015, participants in the 2015 Marine Toys for Tots Foundation Golf Classic gathered at the
Mount Vernon Country Club in Alexandria, Virginia to launch the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation’s 2015 national fundraising campaign.
This was the twentieth annual Marine Toys for Tots Foundation Golf Classic. The weather was perfect, and the players enjoyed a great golf outing with lots of camaraderie.
Thirty-five corporations/business groups, from throughout the nation, supported this year’s tournament while donating over $135,000.
The 88 participating golfers represented 28 of these corporations and included corporate executives, Marine Corps officials and Toys for Tots supporters.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, an eight-year national corporate sponsor, kicked off support of the 2015 Marine Toys for Tots Program
in November 2015 as part of the company’s ongoing “Merry Mission” story that encourages families to join in the true spirit of the season.
Guests at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores helped make furry friends for Toys for Tots program recipients and raised funds from November 1-December 31, 2015.
Hallmark returned as a second-year National Corporate Sponsor in a very big way. Playing into the excitement for all things Star Wars™,
Hallmark offered their customers a way to help families in need by donating a portion of proceeds from sales of holiday-themed
Star Wars characters as four-inch itty bittys® plush toys, raising nearly $200,000 in cash.
Additionally, Hallmark donated over 139,000 toys valued at $2.3 million as gift-in-kind.
In late November, the President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was notified by the White House that for the seventh year in a row the
First Lady was once again supporting Toys for Tots by declaring her support for the 2015 Toys for Tots Campaign. On December 9th,
Mrs. Obama arrived at our Marine Toys for Tots warehouse in Washington DC to conduct a media event, volunteered her services by assisting with the sorting of toys,
and contributed a truckload of toys collected from the White House Staff.
Hasbro has a long and proud tradition of supporting children through a variety of philanthropic programs to include supporting Toys for Tots.
In 2015, Hasbro donated over 270,000 toys valued at over $4 million. Hasbro also encourages its employees to volunteer their time to “Make our Community Shine”.
Hasbro’s “Joy Maker Challenge” encouraged youth volunteerism enlisting over 143,000 children to spread the joy and donated a toy for every volunteer.
In nearly two decades of contributing to Toys for Tots, Hasbro has made Christmas possible for millions of children having donated over 3.2 million toys valued at over $36 million!
Having served with the Foundation since its creation in 1991, Major Bill Grein, USMC (Ret), Mr. Toys for Tots,
stepped down as Vice President of Marketing & Development. Colonel Ted, "Migs", Silvester, USMCR (Ret), has taken the reins of Marketing & Development.
First Lady Michelle Obama made it eight straight years by spending her last Christmas in the White House supporting Toys for Tots.
Her Personal involvement over that time was simply to ensure America's less fortunate children experienced the joy of Christmas. Mrs. Obama, mission accomplished!
What a difference you have made the past eight years!
On the evening of 3 June, at the invitation of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Mr. David Brandon, Chairman & CEO of
Toys “R” Us, served as the Guest of Honor and the Parade Reviewing Official for the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.
Toys “R” Us has been the number one Corporate Sponsor for the Marine Toys for Tots Program for 14 years.
The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Blue Angels, once again approved the utilization of their C-130 support aircraft to support the Marine Toys for Tots Program.
The Blue Angels and Toys for Tots teamed up to assist the thousands of families devastated by Hurricane Matthew in eastern North Carolina.
Major “Fireball” Hamilton, the aircraft commander, and his team flew their C-130 from NAS Pensacola to Joint Base Andrews where 13 pallets of toys and books provided by
Marine Toys for Tots Corporate Sponsors, Hasbro and First Book, were loaded on the aircraft and flown to Fayetteville Regional Airport in North Carolina.
The UPS Store is the original partner and sponsor of the Marine Toys for Tots Literacy Program.
Approximately half of their 4,500 stores collect cash donations throughout the holiday to support literacy.
Since 2008, The UPS Store has raised over $3.89 million and helped Toys for Tots distribute 37 million books to disadvantaged children.
Committed to promoting literacy, The UPS Store debuted their first float in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade to showcase the importance of childhood literacy.
On the evening of 2 June, at the invitation of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Mr. John A. Frascotti, President of Hasbro, Inc.,
served as the Guest of Honor and the Parade Reviewing Official for the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.
Hasbro has been one of the top Corporate Sponsors for the Marine Toys for Tots Program for 20 years.
For the eighth year in a row the Toys for Tots Coordinator Training Conference was held at the National Conference Center September 14th – 17th.
This venue has proven to be the perfect setting for our Coordinator Training. The Foundation Staff spent many hours preparing presentations and
handout materials for local coordinators to hear, read, review, and generally get ready for the 2017 Toys for Tots Campaign.
This year there were over 500 attendees that took advantage of the opportunity to gather together for a few days to undergo some serious training;
exchange Toys for Tots stories (lessons for all to learn); learn more about the program; and recognize the Regional and National Coordinators of the Year.
In their 21st year of partnering with Toys for Tots, Hasbro stepped up their support in a big way and saved the day for numerous local
Toys for Tots Campaigns impacted by natural disasters. As part of Hasbro’s philanthropic BE FEARLESS BE KIND initiative,
their 2017 Toy & Game Holiday Match campaign resulted in Hasbro’s donation of 1 million toys.
Hasbro’s KINDNESS RISING campaign donated an additional 500,000 toys and games to hurricane impacted communities
helping many thousands of families to experience the magic of the holidays and a return to normalcy for so many whose lives were turned upside down.
Hasbro’s 2017 contribution was valued at over $8.5 million bringing their total support to Toys for Tots to 5 million toys valued at nearly $50 million.
As Build-A-Bear Workshop enjoyed their 20th anniversary, 2017 was their 10th year of supporting Toys for Tots. Build-A-Bear retail locations across the States held many interactive events encouraging patrons and staff to interact with local Marines which helped to raise over $350,000 for Toys for Tots. Additionally, Build-A-Bear donated 21,000 of their “furry friends” valued at over $250,000 brining their cumulative giving to well over $11 million.
On November 24th, “Black Friday”, the President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Lieutenant General Pete Osman and Santa Tim Connaghan, together with Marines from 6th Communications Battalion rang the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange in honor of the 70th Anniversary of the Marine Toys for Tots Program. Joining General Osman and Santa Tim on the Exchange Platform were Laura Osman, Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Belt, 1st Sergeant and Mrs. Fredonis, Gunnery Sergeant Voutthivong, Sergeant Smith, and PFC Richards. Ringing the Bell on “Black Friday” serves as a great reminder to the American Public to purchase a toy for a less fortunate child when one hits the stores on the biggest shopping day of the year.
On 27 November the President & CEO participated in the 8th Annual “Hollywood Christmas Parade featuring Marine Toys for Tots”.
In early December, the President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was notified that the First Lady Melania Trump would be supporting Toys for Tots during our 2017 Campaign. On December 13th, Mrs. Trump arrived at our Marine Toys for Tots warehouse in Washington DC to conduct a media event, volunteered her services by assisting with the sorting of toys, conducted a craft session with the children of military service members, and personally thanked the many volunteers who assist with the Washington D.C. Campaign.
Hillwood Airways, a Ross Perot Company, offered the use of one of their cargo aircraft to fly planeloads of toys donated by one of our key corporate sponsors, Hasbro Inc., to hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico. On 20 December a planeload of toys provided by Hasbro departed Dallas making delivery late that day in Puerto Rico. After unloading their pallets of toys, the aircraft flew to Miami and early on 21 December picked-up another full load of Hasbro toys and once again flew to Puerto Rico to make delivery. When the mission was complete Hasbro, together with Hillwood Airways had delivered over 30,000 toys, books, and games to our Reserve Marines in Puerto Rico for distribution to thousands of Puerto Rican children who truly would have gone without were it not for this special mission.
Since 1980, the Marine Toys for Tots Native American Program has grown to benefit over 120,000 Native American children annually providing toys and books to participating reservations as well as actively supporting the Office of the Vice President of the Navajo Nation with the Navajo Literacy Program. In the early years of the program, few toys were available for distribution on the Reservations and required significant volunteer support from the Reservation Police Departments traveling to California to pick up donated toys. Today, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation supplements the campaign providing thousands of toys by shipping them directly to the Reservations.
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
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,
solicites corporate support, educates the public, and hanldes 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.
Connect with your local Marine Toys for Tots Campaign to donate and volunteer and help give the joy of Christmas to less-fortunate children.