Donate to Toys for Tots

For the next two weeks, we at Century Corporation are going to be taking donations for Toys for Tots. Please bring your new, unwrapped toy to the leasing office at Burnam Woods, Chatham Gardens, or Old Orchard Apartments by Thursday December 19th. Everyone who donates will be entered into a drawing to win a $50. gift card. It doesn’t take much to put a smile on a child’s face. Just buy an extra toy while you’re doing your holiday shopping and drop it off to us, and we’ll take care of the rest.

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Origin and Evolution of Toys for Tots

Toys for tots Began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, USCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children.  The idea came form Bill’s wife, Diane.  In the fall of 1947, Diane crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas.  When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one.  He did.  The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign.  That year, Marine Corps Reserve units across the nation conducted Toys for Tots campaigns in each community in which a Marine Reserve Center was located.  Marines have conducted successful nationwide campaigns at Christmas each year since 1948.  The initial objective that remains the hallmark of the program today is to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children”.  Bill Hendricks, a Marine Reservist on weekends, was in civilian life, the Director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio.  This enabled him to convince a vast array of celebrities to support Toys for Tots.  In 1948, Walt Disney designed the Toys for Tots logo, which we use today.  Disney also designed the first Toys for Tots poster used to promote the nationwide program.  Nat “King” Cole, Peggy Lee and Vic Damone recorded the Toys for Tots theme composed by Sammy Fain and Paul Webster in 1956.  Bob Hope, John Wayne, Doris Day, Lorrie Morgan, Tim Allen, Kenny Rogers and Billy Ray Cyrus are but a few of the long list of celebrities who have given their time and talent to promote Toys for Tots. First Lady Michele Obama has been Toys for Tots number one supporter and volunteer since 2009 through mass media events, by conducting toy drives in the White House, and by volunteering to assist with the sorting of toys at local campaign warehouse sites in the Washington DC area. From 1947 through 1979, Marines collected and distributed new and used toys.  On Reserve drill weekends during October, November and December, Reserve Marines refurbished the used toys.From Christmas 1980 through the present, Marines have collected and distributed only new toys.

For more information, please visit Toys for Tots.

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