Toys for Tots DFW Chapter Needs Your Help!

How much is a child’s happiness worth?  Five dollars?  Ten dollars? Twenty? There can never be a price tag on making a child happy because happy children are priceless.  Images of happy kids sneaking downstairs to check if Santa has arrived constantly show up on our TV screens during the holidays, as do scenes of families exchanging gifts grinning ear to ear because they know the gifts they’re giving are ‘just perfect’ for the receivers.

We all know, however, that what may be merriment and happiness the holidays entail for us and our families aren’t true for all families.  Some children wake up with no presents under the tree, some won’t even have a tree.

Now imagine the child who doesn’t expect any presents seeing packages from Santa with their names on them.  Their joy and bliss would be magical!

That’s where Toys for Tots comes in during the holidays.  They play Santa for kids who would otherwise wonder how they could have been so ‘bad’ that they received nothing for Christmas because that’s what children do.  They blame themselves.

The US Marine Corps understands this dynamic and they have a mission of helping every family in need.  Once a year they start their drives and each year they help tens of thousands of children across the country.

Here in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, our local chapter is hard at work this season and they need your help.  You can donate toys, make a monetary donation, donate by mail and even donate in honor of someone else.


Sign up to Recieve Toys

  1. Go to the Toys for Tots website.
  2. Click on the Request Toys link at the top of the page.
  3. From here you will be directed to a drop-down menu. …
  4. Once you have a selected a state and county, you will be presented with a name of the person in charge of the local campaign center, along with a link.

Sign a family up for Toys for Tots  baby with teddy bear

Toys for Tots serves families in need by giving new toys to children during the holidays with the hope that this act will help empower kids to see beyond their circumstances. In essence, through the delivery of new Christmas toys where there might not be any otherwise, Toys for Tots seeks to contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty.

How to Sign a Family Up for Toys for Tots

There is no specific criterion to sign a family up for Toys for Tots per se. However, there is no guarantee that every family signed up will receive gifts through the program. Which families are selected to get toys depends on each individual local campaign center, how many toys that campaign center has, and the various families who have been presented as possible candidates to receive free toys. You can sign a family up to be considered by following these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Toys for Tots website.
  2. Click on the Request Toys link at the top of the page.
  3. From here you will be directed to a drop-down menu. Select the state and county that the potential recipient lives in.
  4. Once you have a selected a state and county, you will be presented with a name of the person in charge of the local campaign center along with a link. Click on this link and provide the requested information. This will generally include:
  • Your name and the family’s name.
  • The names and ages of all children in the recipient household.
  • Proof of residency of the family in need.
  • A brief opportunity to explain why that family needs to receive a Toys for Tots Christmas present.
  • Other possible identifying information.

Identifying a Family That Could Benefit From Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots works with a variety of organizations that help identify needy children. These local organizations include local church organizations and other faith-based organizations, social services organizations, or any other organization or individual that is in the position to identify a family who could use a little extra Christmas hope. Ways that families are identified include:

  • Parents requesting toys for their children
  • Social workers requesting toys on behalf of their case families
  • Food stamp workers or Food Shares workers requesting food for families
  • Religious clergy can request toys for families that they are aware have a need
  • Other adults such as friends, teachers, or neighbors can request toys for a family that they are aware of needing help

In general, worthy families with children under 18-years-old living at home that are unable to buy Christmas presents for their own children due to financial hardship are eligible for Toys for Tots.


How Toys for Tots Began

Since its inception 60 years ago, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program has distributed more than 313 million toys to 151 million children. In addition, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has supplemented the collection of local campaigns over a 13-year life, providing more than 47.4 million toys valued at $243 million, plus promotion and support materials valued at $2.5 million.

Toys for Tots began in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The idea came from Bill’s wife, Diane.  In the fall of 1947, Diane handcrafted a Raggedy Ann doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas. When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one. He did.

The 1947 campaign was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign. That year, Marine Corps Reserve units across the nation conducted Toys for Tots campaigns in each community in which a Marine Reserve Center was located.

Marines have conducted successful nationwide campaigns at Christmas each year since 1948. The initial objective that remains the hallmark of the program today is to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children”.

Bill Hendricks, a Marine Reservists on weekends, was, in civilian life, the director of public relations for Warner Brothers Studio. This enabled him to convince a vast array of celebrities to support Toys for Tots. In 1948, Walt Disney designed the Toys for Tots logo, which the organization still uses today. Disney also designed the first Toys for Tots poster used to promote the nationwide program.

 Celebrities to help support the program over the years include Nat “King” Cole, Peggy Lee, Vic Damone, Bob Hope, John Wayne, Doris Day, Lorrie Morgan, Tim Allen, Kenny Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus and many more.

The 2003 Toys for Tots campaign was the most successful campaign in the 56-year history of the program. Marines distributed 15 million toys to 6.5 million needy children. Local campaigns were conducted in 456 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the most extensive coverage ever. For more information for Toys for Tots, visit www.toysfortots.org.


Refernces:toysfortots.org
http://www.mcnj.org/ToysforTotsHistory.htm

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