What’s a better way to spread holiday cheer than giving to the less fortunate? The main goal of Marine Toys for Tots is to ensure that even those who don’t have anything, will get something, to deliver hope to America’s less fortunate children, and help bring the joy of Christmas. The program was founded in 1947 and was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted it in 1948. They’ve distributed more than 512 million toys, making an estimate of 7 million kids smile each year.
Gary Dunn, the Coordinating Officer of the Howell, Michigan chapter of Toys for Tots was in the marines for 51 years, and has been doing this job for 15 years.
“When I was a kid I was in this kind of program and then I served in the marines, figured it made sense to do this,” Dunn said.
Every person has a choice. Whether it is taking responsibility and action by helping kids in need, providing them with a glimmer of hope and positivity, or leaving it to someone else and possibly not making a child’s day. Toys for Tots not only benefits children but it also has a positive impact on communities. It helps address the issues of poverty that society has among themselves, and the stigma that surrounds it.
When asked how people should be motivated and inspired to donate, “Always be faithful. To your family, to your life, and whatever you choose it to be. It’s a motto that the Marines live by,” Dunn said.
There are many ways to help out this program. For example, simply going onto their website and donating online. Many people believe that Toys for Tots only accepts new toys, but they also accept used toys that are in good shape. Another way of donating is to hold a Marine Toys for Tots Fundraising Event, which is a great way to get involved and support the program.
“Put yourself in their shoes,” Dunn said to people who are reluctant to donate.