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Marines Toys For Tots FAQ

The focus of the Toys For Tots Foundation in Quantico is predominantly the national level.   Toys donated in large quantity and funds received by the Foundation, from an individual or corporate sponsor, are used to supplement the effort of the local community Programs.   For example, if the Foundation received a donation of 50,000 toys, the foundation would then route those toys to the communities most in need.   These needs are determined by detailed coordination with the local Marine Corps Reserve sponsors in those communities.   In the case of donated funds, the Foundation expends 97% of these funds on the purchase of toys and 3% on administrative and promotional needs.

How Did This Program Start?

A Marine Corps Reservist, Major Bill Hendricks, started Toys For Tots back in 1947. His wife Diane had handmade a Raggedy Ann doll to give to an organization that donated toys to disadvantaged children during the Christmas season.


However, there wasn't an organization in Los Angeles that distributed toys to disadvantaged children. Major Hendricks decided to gather all the Marines he could to help him collect and distribute toys to disadvantaged children.   Toys for Tots was officially established a year later.  


That first year in Los Angeles the Marines collected and distributed about five thousand toys. Since then, we have collected and distributed more than 19 million toys to more than 9 million needy children across the nation.


What ages of children are eligible to receive toys?

National rules and guidelines permit the distribution of toys to children from 0 up to 13 years of age.   However, Marine Corps Reserve units are authorized to place further limitations on this depending on conditions in their areas. In [Worcester County the decision has been made to distribute toys to children up to 17 years of age only. We will also distribute toys to individuals that are over 17 in special needs cases.


What are the criteria to qualify to receive toys from this Program?

Local social service agencies and other legitimate organizations are used to identify children in need of assistance and help coordinators distribute toys in the local community.   This reduces the possibility of one family receiving multiple gifts. For the benefit of the Toys For Tots Program Marines, to the extent feasible, distribute some toys directly to needy children (e.g. hospitals, hospices, shelters, special children’s events, etc.).


What kinds of toys are not allowed?

Toys not allowed are realistic-looking weapons and toys with food. Toys For Tots of the Marine Corps Reserve will not distribute toys fitting this description. Instead, the toys that fall into these categories will be donated to another charitable organization.


What kind of toys can I donate?

New, unwrapped toys preferably around the $10 or above price range.   It is unsafe to distribute dangerous or dirty toys that could cause injury or illness to a child


What happens with leftover toys after distribution day?

The Toys for Tots program provides toys for each eligible child in a family. We plan our collection and purchasing efforts to make sure that we have enough toys for every eligible child registered by a parent in every community that we support. Leftover toys are donated to other local holiday charities so that they too can brighten up a child's holiday.


Are my donations tax-deducible?

A donor does not need a special letter for tax purposes unless he or she makes a donation of money, toys, or services valued at @250.00 or more. For donations less than $250.00, a canceled check or store/business receipt is acceptable for IRS purposes.


For donations of $250.00 or more that are from the address of the donor, a receipt will be mailed upon request. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity. Donations are tax-deductible.

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