What is Toys for Tots?

Santa Claus delivers presents to young children living in povertyThe holiday season is quickly approaching. For most families, this means making Christmas cookies and shopping for the perfect present for family members. For some families though, the holidays aren’t so sweet. Sadly, every year there are kids who are unable to receive presents for Christmas due to financial restraints in the family.

The Making of Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots was started in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks when his wife was unable to find a place to donate a homemade doll for needy children. That year, collection bins were placed in front of movie theaters and over 5,000 toys were collected to be donated to needy children. In 1948, the United States Marine Crops officially adopted Toys for Tots and help to expand it nationwide. 1948 was also the year that Walt Disney became involved with the organization. Toys for Tots had a special place in Walt Disney’s heart. He personally oversaw the making of the charity’s logo that is still used today. Before 1980, both new and used toys were collected by Marines to be passed out at Christmas time. After 1980, only new toys were collected. This change was made to the Toys for Tots policy because many felt that donating a used toy to be passed out to young children living in poverty sent a message of being a second-class citizen, and not one of hope.

Toys for Tots Today

Today, Toys for Tots has delivered 18 million toys to over 7 million children living in poverty or a less fortunate situation. But the impact of a toy goes beyond just a holiday present. A child living in poverty has dangers of psychological issues resulting from seeing little hope for a better future. An unused toy is a simple message of hope and the potential for a more positive future.

How Does Toys for Tots Work?

Local campaigns are put on by either a Marine, a member of the Marine Corps League Detachment or a member of a local community organization, usually a veteran Marine. These campaigns are coordinated annually from October through December in over 700 communities nationwide. Whoever is the designated Coordinator for that location is in charge of planning, organizing and conducting the campaign in their community.

Toys for Tots Drop off Locations in Maryland, DC and Virginia

If you are looking to help the Toys for Tots campaign through a donation, visit the Toys for Tots site to locate a Toys for Tots drop box near you, or simply make a monetary donation. ezStorage is proud to have partnered with Toys for Tots over the last 10 years by donating storage units year-round and participating in toy drives. If you live near the Bel Air, Westminster, Bowie, Gaithersburg or Odenton ezStorage location, consider dropping your items off at the main office of our storage facility.