The Marine Toys For Tots Foundation


The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Last year, Marines distributed gifts to 7.2 million children in 721 communities nationwide. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation relies on individual donations from the American public as well as support from corporate sponsors.

Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during the Christmas holiday season. Our gifts offer these children hope, recognition and a positive memory they will cherish for a lifetime. Many of the gifts we provide, such as books, games and sports equipment, make a significant contribution to the educational, social and recreational development of these children.

How old is Toys for Tots?

70 years old. Toys for Tots began in 1947.

What state did Toys for Tots begin?

Major Bill Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists began in Los Angeles collecting and distributing 5,000 toys to children in need.

What toy started it all?

Diane Hendricks, Bill’s wife, first crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to an underprivileged child at Christmas. When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one. He did. The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign.

What’s the goal of Toys for Tots?

The initial objective that remains the hallmark of the program today is to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s children in need”.