US Marines and Toys for Tots: a Winning Combination

Christmas is right around the corner. As we look forward to celebrating the season with family and friends, we also look for ways to give back. Federal Heath is proud to have employed many veterans past and present, and has a long history of supporting those who have sacrificed so much for us. This holiday season, our Euless, TX facility will be collecting toys to donate to Toys for Tots.

The idea for Toys for Tots goes back to 1947 and United States Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks. When Hendricks’ wife Diane could not find an organization through which to donate a homemade Raggedy Ann doll to a needy child, she suggested to her husband that he gather some local Marine reservists and take matters into their own hands. Their first campaign brought in 5,000 toys before Christmas 1947; and it all started with one homemade doll.

In 1948, the US Marine Corps adopted what was now called Toys for Tots, and expanded it into a nationwide community action project. It was also in 1948 that Walt Disney designed the now famous Toys for Tots train logo, and created the first national poster. These Christmas posters became a traditional part of the annual program, and over the years have featured such iconic characters as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner.

By 1949, major celebrities were beginning to endorse the program. Over the years, Toys for Tots spokespersons have included: John Wayne, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Ann Margaret, Clint Eastwood, Johnny Carson, and First Ladies Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush.

In 1990, Toys for Tots got its first national television network promotion. Wheel of Fortune and Pizza Hut conducted a three-week promotion for Toys for Tots that raised nearly $3,000,000. Several records were set in the Guinness Book of World Records for participation and donations, and that year Marine Corps Reserve Units collected and distributed over 7.9 million toys.

As an internationally recognized and revered brand, Toys for Tots is a top-rated charity with 97% of donations going to providing toys, books, and gifts, sending a message of hope and service to both children and adults. Interested in making a donation to Toys for Tots? There are many ways to contribute.

Federal Heath is honored to be a part of this mission and appreciates the Marines who make it possible.