Chicagoland Toys for Tots
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No Chicagoland child should go without a toy during the holiday season.

Our program will exceed all others in its commitment to the less fortunate.

We guarantee every toy donated will find its way to a needy child.

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TFT in Burbs

Toys for Tots
United States Marine Corps
2nd Battalion, 24th Marines
3034 Foster Avenue
Chicago, IL  60625

tel:    773-539-7393
fax:   773-588-9647

Since 1775 the United States Marine Corps has defended Freedom and Democracy.  The Marines have fulfilled these duties with courage and with honor.

Since 1947, the annual Marine Corps Reserve "Toys for Tots" Program has provided Toys to millions of needy children.  Now in our 54th year, the American public has come to associate this program with the United States Marine Corps.  As a result, in addition to bringing holiday joy to children during the traditional Christmas season every year, the Program provides a means for Marines to contribute to the welfare of their local communities.

The name "Toys for Tots" was created and first used in Los Angeles in 1947 by the founder of the program, Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR.  Major Hendricks and members of his Los Angeles based Marine Reserve Unit started the program that first year by collecting and distributing 5,000 toys to the needy children of Los Angeles.  The following year the Marine Corps Reserve adopted the program, and began collecting toys in over 200 communities nation-wide. 

In 2002, over 116,000 Toys were distributed in Chicago, serving approximately 200,000 families in the area.

With the Toys for Tots logo that was designed by Walt Disney in 1948, the Marine Corps Reserve Collection and Distribution Sites have become an important and familiar element of the Christmas holiday landscape.  To many people, Christmas is not complete without uniformed Marines collecting and distributing toys for the less fortunate children of their communities.

Each year the Marine Corps Reserve Units in each of the 200 communities served, partners with the local Marine Corps League, Active Duty Marines and the Toys for Tots Committee, made up of local civic and business leaders.

While Marines organize, coordinate and manage the program, its ultimate success depends upon the support of the local community and the generosity of the people who donate toys.  Toys for Tots Campaigns begin in force in October, but planning and coordinating the program is an on-going effort throughout the year.  The Campaigns end each year on December 21st

Caring Americans drop off new, unwrapped toys at collection boxes in local businesses.  Marines pick up these toys and store them in a central warehouse facility, where the toys are sorted by age and gender.  As Christmas nears, Marines distribute toys to local schools, social service agencies and churches for ultimate distribution to needy children on Christmas day. 

Local business leaders play a vital role in the Toys for Tots program by providing support with the following:

  • Donations of toys
  • Providing free warehouse space to store the toys
  • Providing vehicles to collect toys from collection sites
  • Sponsoring toy and fund-raising events
  • Providing volunteers to help sort and pack the toys
  • Providing volunteers to staff toy distribution parties
  • and helping the Marines receive maximum media exposure for the Toys for Tots program.

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