Toys for Tots

Toys for Children During Holiday Season

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Toys For Tots began in 1947 when William Hendricks, a Warner Brothers Studios employee in Los Angelas, was inspired by his wife Diane when she tried to donate a homemade Raggedy Ann doll to a needy child but could not find an organization to accept it. At her suggestion, he gathered a group of local Marine reservists and collected some 5,000 toys for local children from collection bins placed outside of Warner Bros. movie theaters. Their efforts were so successful that, in 1948, Toys for Tots was launched as a national campaign. Hendricks used his position as director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studios to enlist celebrity support, as well as have Walt Disney Studios design the red toy train logo.  As of 2009, the Toys for Tots Program and Foundation have collected and distributed almost five hundred million toys. The mission of the program “is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.”  The stated goal is to “deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”

  • Families who are current clients of Community Teamwork may apply for Toys for Tots through Community Teamwork
  • Applications are available during October, and should be obtained from the department that is normally responsible for providing services
  • Families can apply to Toys for Tots directly if they wish
  • Instructions on pick up times and locations are furnished at the time of application
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Lowell, MA 01852
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