HHS Is Hosting Their Annual Toys for Tots


Ysabella Vasquez, Staff Writer

The Toy for Tots program has been around for 75 years now and is for children up to 14 years old. It Began in 1947 by Marine Corps Reserves Major Bill Hendriks. Bill was inspired by his wife Diane when she created handcraft dolls and asked Bill to deliver them to an agency that supports children in need. Sadly back then there was no such agency so in response Diane demanded Bill to start one. Major Hendriks and his marine reserve started one in Los Angeles and collected a total of 5,000 toys. Seeing how much of a success it had and how many people liked doing something nice for others they started it again the next year but this time all the Marine reserves in the country participated and donated even more toys to even more children. 

Bill’s civilian job is the Director of Public Relations at Warner Bro Studios and is well acquainted with a few celebrities and asked them to donate to TFT. One of his friends was Walt Disney who designed the very first poster for the program and the infamous logo, the toy train. The posters then took a place in the program and became an annual feature with new designs every year although in the year 2008 they decided to stop releasing different designs and keep one poster making it permanent. 

This program is one of the first programs that care for children with needs and it is amazing how this project was inspired by a woman who made a few dolls and wanted to donate them. They went from 5,000 donations to donating 19 million toys to 7.3 million children. TFT Takes place in 800 communities covering all 50 states, The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands. 

In 1980 the Marine started the Toys for Tots Native American program and donated 180,000 to Native American children annually. At first they didn’t have a lot of donations but now they pick up donations from California and deliver them to the reservations. Toys for Tots has grown even more and now you can make donations on their website. If you are looking at donating toys for children ages 10-14 is needed more specifically, toys for 10-14 year old girls. You can either donate money or get a virtual box and place toys you’d like to donate. But you can also go old school and go to participating locations and drop off your donations. These donations have rules though. No used toys, it has to be brand new it also has to be $10 or more.

If you’re looking at donating there’s also a fundraiser here at school that has been going on for 25+ years and so far it has been successful. Mrs.Larson said they’ve given about 500 toys to the kids in our community a year but it’s different every year. Just like TFT there are requirements  “The toy should be of 10 dollars value or greater and must be brand new so that the children can have a meaningful present to open on Christmas” Stated Mrs.Larson. All donations would be dropped off in Mrs Larson room Ag 1 Located near the school garden. She also Gave some ideas and advice just in case you don’t know what to get. “Think of something you would want if you were a 6-8 year old little girl or boy to open on Christmas morning.” You can donate dolls for the little girls and remote control cars or action figures for the little boys. The best part of this fundraiser is that it’s open to everybody in the school outside of the AG department as well as non AG teachers.

 The purpose of these fundraisers is to give unfortunate children the joy of Christmas whose families couldn’t afford it and they did Exactly that. More that 7 million children were made happy during the holidays all thanks to Diane, Bill Hendriks, and the Marine Reserves. And lots of children in the community were given a chance to experience a Christmas miracle thanks to the AG department. All donations are appreciated by these children.