Toys for Tots, the U.S. Marine Corps’ premiere community action program, distributed an unprecedented 22.4 million toys, books, and games to nearly 8.8 million children in need in 2021.
While the affects of the pandemic continued to create challenges, Toys for Tots provided record breaking support to families and children in times of need. Toys for Tots is more than a Flagship Children’s Christmastime charity – our goal is to provide year-round hope to families in need.
On April 19, 2021, Toys for Tots announced the expansion of their year-round efforts to provide hope to those less fortunate with plans for another special gift distribution to children in need. During the summer of 2021, we provided one million educational toys, books, and games to the children of COVID-19 impacted families. While we all hoped the pandemic would be in our rearview mirrors soon, we also recognized that the emotional and educational impact it’s had on children will be long lasting. Less fortunate children likely suffered the greatest learning loss by not being able to attend in-person classroom instruction, so Toys for Tots provided toys and books that teach to help them overcome a growing educational gap and stimulate their young minds.
“Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “We have the ability to extend our reach and provide support to families who are facing tremendous year-round challenges, and Toys for Tots stands ready to assist when children and families need help the most.”
Toys for Tots’ initiatives in 2021 also included providing comfort and relief to families in need during uncertain and unstable times outside of the holiday season. The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program provided toys, books, and other gifts to nearly 17,000 children on the Afghanistan refugee families who have been granted asylum in the United States. As these families adjusted to their new lives in America, Toys for Tots provided hope and comfort to their children. As our mission continues to expand, we also stood ready to respond in emergency situations. Toys for Tots provided compassionate support with the distribution of toys, books, and other gifts to the families of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee who were impacted by devastating tornados in 2021.
Despite the ongoing challenges from the pandemic, the Marines and local campaign Coordinators of the Marine Toys for Tots Program rose to the occasion and established over 830 local toy collection and distribution campaigns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Our Coordinators were, once again, very innovative about how they collected and distributed toys, and they achieved tremendous milestones in 2021. The American public, as well as a record number of organizations serving as National Corporate Sponsors, answered our call to action and made significant donations allowing the Foundation to augment local toy drives with over 10 million toys valued at over $82 million.
The tremendous support we received from the American public and our Corporate Sponsors enabled us to distribute an unprecedented 22.4 million toys, books, and games to nearly 8.8 million children in need. But your support did more than provide gifts – you also sent messages of hope and restored self-worth to those less fortunate.
- Distributed over 22.4 million toys to nearly 8.8 million less fortunate children from 832 local campaigns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
- Distributed 1 million toys, books, and games to COVID-impacted families outside of the holiday season.
- Distributed 3.1 million books to children in need through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.
- Distributed toys and books to over 186,000 Native American children living on remote Reservations.
- With support from Toys for Tots Sponsors, augmented local toy drives with over 10 million toys valued at over $82 million.
- Met all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.