Toys for Tots

Every holiday season, the season of giving, millions of donations are circulating around the world giving money, food, gifts, or some other form of donation to those in need. It is a great and special thing to see struggling families enjoy something special. Sometimes though, adding $1 to your total at Macy’s or Walmart is only because the cashier asked and you don’t want to feel mean, not because you truly believe that one dollar will make a difference. While it still does make a difference when you add it all up, many Americans are looking for ways to make a difference that they can actually see.

Whether it be volunteering at a local food pantry or giving away hand warmers to the homeless, it is seeing with your own eyes and being sure of your personal impact that makes giving back to others worth it.
Missouri Central Credit Union wanted to give its members that same personal assurance and chose to pay it forward this season with the help of Toys for Tots.

What is Toys for Tots?

Founded by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Toys for Tots helps less fortunate children throughout the United States further experience the joy of Christmas. The Marine Corps believe that our nation’s most valuable resources are our children and have made it their mission to unite local communities together under a common cause.

Toys for Tots delivers more than just a toy, it delivers hope.

The Toys for Tots Foundation was founded in 1947 by, U.S. Marine, Major Bill Hendricks in Los Angeles, California. The first ever donation was a handmade doll. That doll went to become the first of 5,000 toys collected during that Christmas.  

Toys for Tots Logo

It was only a year later in 1948 that Toys for Tots expanded into a nationwide campaign collecting toys all over the country. Kansas City’s very own, Walt Disney, designed the infamous train logo that we still see today.

Toys for Tots attracted the likes of many other influential people, including Frank Sinatra, George Strait, Billy Ray Cyrus, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush.

In 1959, Toys for Tots had officially gone international, providing toys for underprivileged kids all over the world, not just in the United States.

Marines collecting toys, 1966
Marines collecting toys, 1966

With global expansion, along with the support of great American influencers and Marines, Toys for Tots began donating only new toys in 1980.

In 1997, Toys for Tots celebrated their 50TH Anniversary! It was during this holiday season that U.S. Marines delivered 10,000,000 toys to over 4,700,000 children across the nation. This number has continued to increase ever since.

New York City Veterans Day Parade, November 2011
New York City Veterans Day Parade, November 2011

Fast forward 20 years to 2016: Toys for Tots raised $280 MILLION, the second best year EVER for Toys for Tots. Some familiar Toys for Tots sponsors include Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Build-A-Bear, Disney, The UPS Store, Hallmark, Hasbro, and more.

Missouri Central Credit Union is passionate about making a difference, starting small and growing into something much bigger, just like the credit union has. It brings joy to the office seeing members, and even staff, walk in bearing a toy. It makes our day, it makes their day, but most importantly, it makes the entire Christmas for one special kid.

Located in our lobby, we have two boxes to donate to Toys for Tots and plan to fill a third and fourth! The boxes will be here until December 13, 2017 so there is still time to donate if you have not already done so!
Once the boxes are picked up, volunteers from local churches, welfare agencies, and other local groups, help to distribute the toys throughout the local community.

Toys for Tots is proof that whatever you donate will be delivered, IN FULL, to a special someone. Sometimes, it is comforting to know where you’re putting your money; probably why you decided to make a credit union your primary financial institution and not a bank!

Missouri Central Credit Union and Toys for Tots are thankful for YOU.