Since 1775 the Marine Corps has defended freedom and democracy - a duty they have fulfilled with honor, courage, and commitment. As they have fulfilled that duty, Marines have earned a well-deserved reputation for toughness.
But there's another side to the Marine Corps - the side that springs from genuine concern for the communities in which they live, and a deep compassion for the under-privileged children of America. That's the side that exemplifies the spirit of the Marine Corp. That side is found in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
It all began in December 1947, with a hand crafted Raggedy Ann doll. The wife of Marine Reserve Major Bill Hendricks made this doll and asked her husband to deliver to an organization that would present it to a needy child on Christmas Day.
Unfortunately, Major Hendricks could find no agency to provide such a service. To help fill that void Major Hendricks and members of his Los Angeles Marine Reserve Unit collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children of Los Angeles during Christmas 1947. The seed was planted and Toys for Tots was born. The following year the Marine Corps Reserve adopted the program and began collecting toys in nearly 200 communities nation-wide.
The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program collection and distribution sites have become an important and familiar element of the Christmas Holiday landscape.
Over the years, Marine Reservists have been extremely successful and have worked tirelessly to meet the ever growing demand for toys and enable parents, who may not otherwise be able, to provide their children with a Christmas toy and to answer their child's Christmas dream.
The Toys for Tots Program has grown tremendously since its inception. Today, Toys for Tots serves over 400 local communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. Now more than ever, Toys for Tots needs the assistance of members of the local community to help us make it better than ever.
Businesses and individuals are very important to us. It's a way you can give back to your community and to its less fortunate children. You can support Toys for Tots by donating a new unwrapped toy at a toy collection site near you.
Local businesses are instrumental in the success of the Toys for Tots program. You can generate or purchase media attention for the program, sponsor a toy raising event, provide an essential service like printing or transportation, or simply allow your place of business to be a toy drop off location.
The important thing is we are local people helping local families. This is the Christmas mission of your local Marine Corps Unit - Members of the Sgt. William L. Dixon Detachment of Clear Field County and the people of the Central Pennsylvania Community Action - all serving the disadvantaged children during the Holiday Season. They do this by providing Christmas Toys. A shiny new toy sends a message to a needy child that someone cares; that hasn't been forgotten; that the magic of Christmas hasn't passed him/her by. Remember: "Every child deserves a little Christmas."
You can help the Marines this year by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy at a local toy drop off location in your community. Just look for the Toys for Tots poster in the window or on the collection barrels.