Beginning with the National Kick-off Luncheon in Arlington, Virginia, on November 17th,
the 2000 campaign started fast and never looked back. John Glenn (veteran Marine, astronaut and U. S. Senator) and
Heather French Henry (Miss America 2000) were the Guests of Honor—both gave inspiring remarks to the 500 attendees.
During the first week of December, special events were held for the children who lost a parent in the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC.
These events were coordinated by the local Toys for Tots Coordinator in each city and funded by the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The highlights of the year were that the Foundation had its most successful campaign to date plus was ranked #289 in the 2001 “ Philanthropy 400”.
This was the first time the Foundation earned a ranking in the “Philanthropy 400”.
Country-western singer and TV star, Billy Ray Cyrus was the 2003 National Spokesman for Toys for Tots.
Billy Ray Cyrus joined General Michael W. Hagee, USMC, Commandant of the U. S. Marine Corps, as one the
featured guests at the annual National Kick-off Luncheon in Alexandria, Virginia on November 21, 2003.
The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance reported that
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation had met all 20 of its standards and had been designated as an accredited charity.
The 60th anniversary of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program was greeted by another year of
deployments to Southwest Asia by units of Marine Forces Reserve. As in the past four campaigns, Marines needed
additional assistance from local citizens to ensure the success of the campaign. Citizens of local communities
where Reserve Units conducted campaigns volunteered time as well as toys and dollars to ensure successful campaigns.
Our 61st year began with changes. On January 31st, after nearly fifteen years, LtGen Matthew T. Cooper, USMC (Ret)
stepped aside as President & CEO. The Board of Directors selected LtGen H. P. Osman, USMC (Ret) as his successor.
In March, the Foundation staff moved into their newly constructed headquarters just outside the main gate of Marine Corps Base, Quantico.
The new headquarters was dedicated by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, and was named the Cooper Center on March 28, 2009.
After supporting Toys for Tots since 2005 and raising $1.3 million to help brighten the lives of thousands of children nationwide,
The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. network launched the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, a year-round initiative, in March 2008 to expand upon its existing partnership.
While the Toys for Tots Literacy Program maintains the Toys for Tots mission of delivering hope, it extends the organization’s reach and impact by
providing children in need with the gift of a book.
This program not only brings the joy of reading to these children, but also serves as an important tool in breaking the cycle of poverty.
The President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, LtGen H.P. Osman, received a call from the White House with news that the
First Lady had declared her support for the 2009 Toys for Tots Campaign.
She invited LtGen Osman to join her at the White House for a media event to announce her support.
Toys for Tots began in 1947 as the brain child of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks. Actually it was his wife, Diane, who was the real inspiration.
She had a few handcrafted dolls and asked Bill to deliver them to an agency that supports children in need.
When Bill reported back to his wife that he could not find such an organization, she instructed him to “start one!”.
Maj Hendricks and the Marines in his reserve unit in LA collected and distributed 5,000 toys in 1947.
Seeing such successful community engagement in 1947, the Commandant directed all Marine Reserve Sites to implement a
TFT campaign transforming it into a national community action program in 1948.
Bill Hendrick’s civilian job was Director of Public Relations at Warner Brothers Studios.
He was friends with many celebrities who he asked to help support the newly created Marine Toys for Tots Program.
As a personal friend and as a favor to Bill, Walt Disney designed the first Toys for Tots poster which included a miniature three-car
train that was subsequently adopted as the Toys for Tots logo.
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit charity, was established in 1991 at
the behest of the Marine Corps to help run and support the Marine Toys for Tots Program.
The Foundation raises funds, purchases toys, provides promotional and support materials, manages all funds raised and donated,
solicits corporate support, educates the public, and handles day-to-day operations.
Presently, the Marine Toys for Tots Program distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children annually.
Connect with your local Marine Toys for Tots Campaign to donate and volunteer and help give the joy of Christmas to less-fortunate children.