Toys for Tots Christmas in July.
Temperatures were in the upper 90s with the Heat Index above 105. The DoNC TFT Coordinator
showed up in his Christmas suit.
Even under those conditions, we did well with both the collection of toys and money.
1947 Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR founds Toys for Tots in Los Angeles, California. 5,000 toys collected during a campaign before Christmas 1947. The first toy is a handmade doll.
1948 The United States Marine Corps adopts Toys for Tots, and expands it into a nationwide community action project as the U. S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Program. Marines at each Reserve Center throughout the nation conduct toy collection and distribution campaigns in the communities surrounding the center.
Walt Disney designs the now famous Toys for Tots train logo and creates the first national Toys for Tots poster. These Christmas posters have become a recognized part of the annual program, and through the years have featured such notable characters as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Dennis the Menace, Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner. Posters have been designed by a member of the Association of Handicapped Artists, by Marine Corps Reserve artists as well as an array of well known artists such as Ted Drake and Bob Timberlake.
1949 Major celebrities begin to endorse the program. Over the years Toys for Tots Spokespersons have included John Wayne, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, George Strait, Brooke Shields, Charlton Heston, Ann Margaret, Sammy Davis, Jr., Doris Day, Andy Griffith, Charlie Daniels, Clint Eastwood, Lorrie Morgan, Johnny Carson, Tim Allen, Kenny Rogers, Joe Foss, John Glenn, Heather French Henry (Miss America 2000), and Billy Ray Cyrus. First Ladies, Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush, served as National Toys for Tots Spokespersons.
1956 Oscar winning songwriters Sammy Fain and Paul Webster compose the Toys for Tots theme, which was later recorded by Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee and Vic Damone.
1959 Toys for Tots goes international. Although the program is designed to be a local program for local children of the United States, Toys for Tots went international on three occasions. The first followed the catastrophic typhoon that devastated the city of Nagoya, Japan, in 1959. The other two occasions were to the Republic of Panama following the invasion in 1988 and to the Caribbean following Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity is the fund raising, funding and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991.The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted