Did you know that the Toys for Tots program is not just a charity, but is an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve and an official activity of the U.S. Marine Corps? It was started in 1947 by USMCR officer Major Bill Hendricks of the Mobilization Training Unit of Los Angeles. From its humble origins to its eventual authorization and creation as a non-profit charity foundation in 1981, the Toys for Tots program has grown to become a favorite Christmas charity for many Americans. It has been the recipient of many honors and awards in recognition of its selfless goal: the collection and distribution of new toys to less fortunate children in communities across all 50 states. But few realize that the foundation also conducts a Toys for Tots Native American Program!
A special friendship has long existed between the USMC and the Navajo Nation as a result of the “Code Talkers” mission of World War II fame. From the very beginning, the Toys for Tots program included the distribution of toys to children of the Navajo Reservation with a Navajo Toys for Tots Program. That program was later expanded to include many other Indian Reservations and now benefits more than 120,000 Native American children annually.
We, the staff of Military Living®, are proud and grateful to the US Marine Corps and all our Armed Force Services for their contributions and sacrifices freely given to ensure the safety and security of us all. Please join us in congratulating and celebrating the US Marines for their selfless donation of time and resources during the holiday season. Their spirit of goodwill and generosity serve as an inspiration and example to us all!
Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett and Santa took a few moments to discuss each other’s buttons on their perspective uniforms. Barrett suggested that Santa put a few Marine Corps buttons on his uniform. While Santa agreed, he said that his buttons were made special just for him. Photo: Sgt Aaron Hostutler via Wikimedia Commons.
For more information on the Toys for Tots Native American Program or to make a donation, please visit their website at http://www.toysfortots.org/donate/native_american_program.aspx.
To make a donation, request toys, and to find more general information on the overall Toys for Tots program, please visit their official website at http://www.toysfortots.org/Default.aspx.
Article by: Bob Biel, Staff Writer and Senior Editor