Across the country and for decades, American Legion posts have assisted Marines and volunteers with Toys for Tots collection drives. This holiday season, the need is greater than ever, with supply-chain breakdowns expected to reduce availability and increase toy costs for families facing financial hardships.
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation operates local campaigns in 2,042 counties across the country, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. This year less fortunate children in several specifically identified communities won’t have much of a holiday season without the program.
That is why The American Legion and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation recently solidified a partnership to enhance their collaboration to collect new, unwrapped toys for distribution where needs are greatest this holiday season.
“Dozens of American Legion posts assist the Marines in this important mission every year,” American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard said. “This winter, we want to put smiles on the faces of children, no matter where they live or the economic conditions their families face.”
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and The American Legion have identified specific geographic areas where gaps occur in the service. American Legion posts in those communities will be alerted and provided information about how they can get involved in those areas, by visiting www.toysfortots.org/campaigns.
“There’s an old saying in The American Legion that’s really a promise to kids, no matter their situation – a ‘square deal for every child,’” Dillard said. “We have always respected and assisted where possible with the Toys for Tots program because it fulfills that promise in about two-thirds of our country. However, more than 1,100 communities do not have Toys for Tots programs, and we need to reduce that number, knowing that those are places where disadvantaged children stand likely to be forgotten this holiday season. We are going to connect local posts with Toys for Tots in those communities to close that gap.”
Since 1947, Toys for Tots has distributed some 604 million toys to approximately 274 million children in need.
For more information, please visit www.toysfortots.org.