Toys for Tots is an organization that I have supported for many years both through donations as well as volunteering to deliver the toys myself to children in need. One of my favorite charitable experiences was having the opportunity to deliver toys to children in medical facilities dressed up in a Santa costume. They are a great organization and I think it is important to understand what all they do, how they help, and their impact.
The Toys For Tots foundation is an official activity of the U.S. Marine Corps formed in 1995 and was created to collect and distribute toys in the community to disadvantaged children. In 2003 the foundation was named the “Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year.” Collection of toys starts in early October and lasts until late December. Local organizations, business, and more team up to collect and donate unwrapped gifts and monetized donations to the organization. In 2015, 18 million toys were distributed across the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Toys For Tots is a top rated charity and 97% of donations go towards the mission of providing toys, books, and other gifts to those less fortunate. Less than 3% is spent on fundraising and overhead costs. Over the past 15+ years Toy for Tots has distributed over 512 million toys to 237 million less fortunate children.
In addition to distributing toys for children for the holiday’s Toys For Tots also has a literacy program that helps to enhance disadvantaged children’s opportunities academically and help them succeed by providing them direct access to the resources they need to do so. Over 16 million children live in poverty, by providing resources to these children you can help break the cycle of poverty and give them the opportunity to thrive by placing a book in their hands.
Another program that was developed is the Toys For Tots Native American Program. A traditional Toys For Tots program involves the local community collecting and distributing toys in the area. However, there was no population or centres near the Navajo Nation that could support a traditional program so the Navajo Toys For Tots program was created. Since its creation it has grown to benefit over 120,000 Native American children by shipping toys directly to the reservation.
Toys For Tots is a great organization and one I am proud to support and provide my services too. Learn more about the program or donate here.