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
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