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Marine Forces Reserve’s Toys for Tots celebrates 70th anniversary season

12 Dec 2017 | Pfc. Samantha Schwoch U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

Marine Forces Reserve is now celebrating the 70th anniversary season of the Toys for Tots foundation. The Toys for Tots program aims to assist and guide young children, helping them grow into responsible, productive citizens through the message of hope that comes with a new toy.

Marine Forces Reserve Toys for Tots campaign was founded in 1947, by Maj. Bill Hendricks, a Reserve Marine, in Los Angeles.

The Toys for Tots mission is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December to distribute to less-fortunate children in communities nationwide.

The first year, Toys for Tots collected approximately 5,000 toys during their campaign. Since then, Toys for Tots has distributed more than 570 million toys and delivered the holiday joy to approximately 244 million children.


The Toys for Tots program is now robust in 792 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.


In support of the Toys for Tots program, Marines nationwide integrate with the public to promote the campaign’s mission in various ways such as; media engagements, sports tournaments, community runs, toy drives and collection sites.


On Dec. 8, 2017, in New York, Marines with 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, and Marines with the Inspector Instructor staff of 6th Communication Battalion, Force Headquarters Group, MARFORRES, shared the Toys for Tots message on national television and met with corporate donors.


Marines with 25th Marines appeared on the Today Show, in their Dress Blue “Bravo” uniform, to support the program with Toys for Tots signs.


Lt. Gen. Rex C. McMillian, commander of MARFORRES and Marine Forces North, along with staff of 6th Comm. Bn., also supported the program by attending various corporate events to speak about Toys for Tots.


McMillian spoke to Citigroup employed veterans and executives as well as employees of the Dewitt Stern Group Inc. about ways to donate and how their support benefits the Toys for Tots program.


This season’s goal is to provide toys to over seven million less-fortunate children in the communities that Marine Forces Reserves supports.


For more information on the Toys for Tots program and how to donate, visit