East Idaho Moms is excited to feature the Marine Toys for Tots Program as our nonprofit for December 2020. Eastern Idaho is fortunate to have a wealth of nonprofit and service organizations. By highlighting some of these groups, we hope to encourage moms and families to get involved and learn about all that our wonderful community has to offer.
Toys for Tots is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization that brings Christmas joy to disadvantaged children. The program began in 1947 in the Los Angeles area when the wife of Major Bill Hendricks made hand-crafted dolls as part of 5,000 toys to distribute during the holiday season. Since then, the Commandant of the Marine Corps has implemented the program to all Reserve Units and has given 584 million toys to over 265 million children. The mission of the program is to “make sure that every less fortunate child from the age of 1 to 13 has a toy to open on Christmas Day.” It is the only program like this in the military branches.
Fundraisers are done by way of un-manned toy collection boxes and in-person tables where money and toys are collected at businesses throughout area counties. 97% of the funds collected by Toys for Tots goes into purchasing toys.
Last year, our local Toys For Tots supplied 650 families with 6,500 toys in Bonneville, Jefferson, Madison, Teton, and Fremont counties, ranging from Firth to Island Park. This year, the application process for children in need will be a little different due to Covid-19. The applications may be completed at 574 4th Street in Idaho Falls on December 11, 12, and 13 from 10 am until 6 pm.
More information regarding Toys for Tots in the Idaho Falls area can be found on their website at www.toysfortots.org, or by contacting Roy Miller, the Toys for Tots coordinator for the Idaho Falls area, at 208-206-1356 or [email protected].
“When we give the toys to the mother and she breaks down and cries, we really have done our job.”