This week, we met with Marine Commandant of the Marine Corps League Rich Lee who delivered a carload of toys for kids donated by retired police detective Doug Johnson. “This is high quality stuff,” Lee remarks as he checks out the boxes of Matchbox and other diecast cars, motorcycles and games.
The toys were brought to the Armed Forces Recruitment Center on Cortez Blvd. There, Staff Sergeant Harbert and Privates First Class Cook and Kupczyk assisted Commandant Lee with the unveiling of the toys to be distributed to kids on Christmas.
History of Toys for Tots
In 1947, Diane Hendricks, wife of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks, asked her husband to deliver a few handcrafted dolls to an agency that supported children in need. When Major Hendricks told his wife that he could not find such an organization, she instructed him to “start one!” Major Hendricks and the Marines in his reserve unit in Louisiana ended up collecting and distributing an estimated 5,000 toys in 1947.
Seeing such successful community engagement in 1947, the Marine Commandant directed all Marine Reserve Sites to implement a Toys for Tots campaign, transforming it into a national community action program in 1948.
Presently, the Marine Toys for Tots Program distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children annually.
To learn more about Toys for Tots or make a donation, please visit toysfortots.org