Q : What happens with leftover toys after distribution day?
A : Toys For Tots program provides toys for each eligible child in a family. We plan our collection and purchasing efforts to make sure that we have enough toys for every eligible child registered by a parent in every community that we support. Leftover toys are donated to other local holiday charities so that they too can help brighten up a child’s holiday.
Q : My company is going to have a Toys For Tots collection drive or event. What support is available for us?
A : The Middlesex, and Essex counties Marines thank you for your interest in supporting our charity! We can provide you with collection bins, posters, window stickers, etc… We can also provide a Marine to attend your event, but remember, our resources are very limited, so please get your request in early. Please refer to the Request forms to apply.
Q : How can my business get involved with Toys for Tots?
A: In the following ways:
Provide volunteer assistance at distribution event
Provide logistical support for the pickup and distribution of toys
Provide fuel for pickup and distribution of toys
Provide office furniture supplies, computers or other support materials
Hold a toy collection drive at your business
Make a monetary donation to Toys For Tots
Organize a Toys for Tots promotional event in coordination with the Toys For Tots coordinators
Refer us to other companies
Q : Where can I send a financial donation?
A : Donations can be mailed to:
Toys For Tots, 36 MacArthur Ave, Bldg 686, Devens, Ma 01434
Please make checks payable to “Toys For Tots of MA”. All donations made through this Toys for Tots Organization will be sent to the Toys For Tots foundation in Quantico, Virginia for accounting purposes, and will be deposited to our account for use right here in Middlesex, and Essex counties.
Q : Is my donation tax-deductible?
A : A donor does not need a special letter for tax purposes unless he/she makes a donation of money, toys, or services valued at $250.00 or more. For donations less than $250.00 a canceled check or store/business receipt is acceptable for IRS purposes. For donations of $250.00 or more that are address of the donor, a receipt will be mailed upon request.
Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity. Donations are tax deductible.
Q : How can I become a volunteer?
A : Toys For Tots could not be done without volunteers! Please fill out a volunteer form, informing us of your intent and skills.
Q : Can I donate anything else besides toys?
A : Yes! Contact us with your items via the volunteer page.
Q : Are particular types of toys more in need than others?
A : The age groups that are in need of donations are the children from ages 0-2.
Q : What kinds of toys are not allowed?
A : Toys with military theme. Toys related to weapons/law enforcement type toys. Toys with candy. Used toys. No chemicals (i.e. experimental labs, acid, crystal projects, etc.). The Toys For tots program do not allow these toys. The Toys For Tots of the Marine Corps reserve will not distribute toys fitting this description that are donated to the program to children. Instead, these toys will be donated to another charity organization.
Q : What kind of toys can I donate?
A : New, unwrapped toys preferably around the $10 or above price range. It is unsafe to distribute dangerous or dirty toys that could cause injury or illness to a child.
Q : What ages of children are eligible to receive toys?
A : National rules and guidelines permit distribution of toys to children from 0 up to 13 years of age. However, Marine Corps Reserve units are authorized to place further limitations on this depending on conditions in their areas. In Middlesex, and Essex counties , the decision has been made to distribute toys to children up to 13 years of age.
Q : What are the criteria to qualify to receive toys from this program?
A : Local social service agencies and other legitimate organizations are used to identify needy children and help coordinators distribute toys in the local community. This reduces the possibility of one family receiving multiple gifts. For the benefit of the Toys For Tots program, Marines, to the extent feasible, distribute some toys directly to needy children (e.g. hospitals, hospices, shelters, special children’s event etc.).
Q : How long does the Toys For Tots program last?
A : The Toys For Tots season in Middlesex, and Essex counties Toys for Tots season lasts until December 23rd. However, we accept sponsorship all year to get started for the next season.
Q : How does the Toys For Tots program work?
A : There two aspects associated with the program nationally:
Those activities undertaken by Marines, often with the support of the local community
Those activities of the Toys For Tots foundation in Quantico, Virginia , which support the Marine Corps program.
Marines: Marines, often with the support of their local community partners, stage toy collection barrels at various locations (for example, at a participating business location). New, unwrapped, donated toys are placed in these barrels. The barrels are collected periodically and transported to a central holding location, where the toys are examined and sorted by gender and age group. These toys are then provided to appropriate agencies (such as local churches, etc.), who identify and distribute these toys to those children in need.
If the Marine Corps Reserve Unit receives unsolicited funds, these funds are forwarded to the Toys for Tots Foundation in Quantico , Virginia for accounting purposes. The Foundation, in turn, returns 100% of these funds to the respective donating community, in the form of toys purchased at the national or local level.
Foundation: The focus of the Toys For Tots Foundation in Quantico is predominantly at the national level. Toys donated in large quantity and funds received by the Foundation, from an individual or corporate sponsor, are used to supplement the effort of the local community programs. For example, if the Foundation received a donation of 50,000 toys, the foundation would then route those toys to the communities most in need. These needs are determined by detailed coordination with the local Marine Corps Reserve sponsors in those communities. In the case of donated funds, the foundation expends 97% of these funds on the purchase of toys and 3% on administrative and promotional needs.
Q : What is the program’s goal?
A : We Marines are inherently tenacious and optimistic, striving continuously to surpass the most formidable challenge. While it may seem overly ambitious, our ultimate goal would be to bring a ray of holiday joy to the heart of each of the estimated 14 million children in need each year.
Q : Why is this program necessary?
A : America has over 14 million economically disadvantaged children. There has never been a greater need, and the Marine Corps is committed to doing its part in helping these children.
Q : How did this program start?
A : A Marine Corps reservist, Major Bill Hendricks, started Toys For Tots back in 1947. His wife Diane had crocheted a doll to give to an organization that donated toys to disadvantaged children during Christmas. However, there was not an organization in Los Angeles that distributed toys to disadvantaged children. Major Hendricks decided to gather all the Marines he could to help him collect and distribute toys to disadvantaged children. Toys for Tots was officially established a year later. That first year in Los Angeles , the Marines collected, and distributed about five thousand toys. Since then, we have collected and distributed more than 19 million toys to more than 9 million needy children across the nation.