Spreading Joy, One Toy at a Time

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PHOTOGRAPH BY SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD/CONTRA COSTA TIMES (December 22)

A card promotes the Marines Corps Toys for Tots programs that was strated by Col. John Hampton 1947. (smd) 2004

Kristen Miller, Staff Writer

As December rolls around, so do holidays, snow, and the season of giving. During this time of year, most people are bound to hear of Toys for Tots, or see numerous boxes around town that display their name and logo. For those who are looking to make the holidays a special not just for themselves but also others, Toys for Tots is an excellent charity to participate in. This national foundation was founded in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks, and adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve the following year. As noted on their official website, the mission of Toys for Tots is “to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.”

Toys for Tots aims to help everyone experience the joys that Christmas can bring.  They unify members of local communities in a productive and beneficial way that has a significant positive influence on underprivileged youth across America.  To do this, Toys for Tots organizes collection campaigns by placing boxes in front of department stores, businesses, and other buildings.  People can then donate new unwrapped gifts—from dolls to cars—and everything in between.

Many people in and around the community take part in volunteering with Toys for Tots.  This year, Revolution Girls’ Volleyball wrapped gifts on Sunday, December 13th, for several hours.  “Our coaches decided it would be nice to spend a little time bonding with the team while also doing something good for the community,” said Rachel Fedorko, freshman.  “Toys for Tots is a great organization because it gives the people of the community an opportunity to give to those in need so that they can have a better Christmas.”

In addition to wrapping, volunteers are able to aid in the sorting of these toys, which entails separating them into categories based on gender and age.  This way, less fortunate children are able to receive a present that is more likely to be best suited for their interests.  After the gifts are organized at a local location, they are distributed with the help of social welfare agencies and churches to needy kids within that community.  If you’re considering volunteering this holiday season, Toys for Tots is an incredible organization that brings joy to the lives of many underprivileged kids throughout the United States.

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